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Friday, May 18, 2018

NOTES FROM THE SENATE, MAY 18, 2018

APRIL REVENUES EDGE UP

This week we take a look at State Revenues for April, a month usually marked by large amounts of refunds as taxpayers file returns.

INCOME TAXES LETHARGIC

April revenues edged up slightly, 2.2% in April following a negative month in March. Individual Income Taxes, the largest category, was lethargic at 0.1% gain following a negative month in March. Corporate Income Taxes came in at a positive 5.4% and Net Sales Taxes was steady at 2.5%.

Inside the Individual Income Tax category, Refunds were up $45.5 million or 8%. All other categories were up, if slightly, with the important Individual Withholding Taxes up 0.7% and Individual payments up 2.8%.

THE SMALLER "CATS & DOGS" --GENERALLY POSITIVE

The smaller categories were generally up, but Title Ad Valorem Taxes were down -8.1%. Tobacco Taxes were up 7.5% and Alcoholic Beverages increased 3.2%. Tag, Title and Fees were up 27.4%. Fuel Tax receipts were up 7.9% while Impact Fees increased 4.5% and Hotel/Motel fees were positive at 1.4%. All together the Transportation Taxes and Fees were up $11.9 million or 7.2%.

YEAR TO DATE TOTALS STILL VERY POSITIVE

It's hard not to like Georgia's Year to Date numbers, which are still among the best in the Southeastern states. Overall Revenues have grown at a 5.0% rate this fiscal year and the total gain for the year so far over last year is a whopping $909.2 million.

Individual Income Taxes still show 7.3% gain, corporate Income Taxes 5.1% gain and Net Sales Taxes, up 3.5%. Title Ad Valorem Taxes are negative at -7.8% but Tobacco Taxes are up 1.7% and Alcoholic Beverages up 0.7%.

Total Transportation/Fuel Taxes and Fees are up $46.3 million or 2.89% YTD.

AHEAD OF BUDGET AND AHEAD OF MOST OF SOUTHEAST

We track revenue trends with a 12 month trailing average which takes the current month and goes back 11 more months and averages revenue growth. Georgia's 12 month trailing average is 5.2%. We track other states as well to compare.

12 MONTH TRAILING REVENUE AVERAGES BY STATE

Through April:
Georgia 5.2%
Tennessee 4.4%
Virginia 6.1% - One month increase of 17.8%
Texas 10.9% - Starting to recover from oil industry reductions
Alabama 1.7%
Louisiana 8.8% - Has a $600 million budget deficit
West Virginia 4.5%
Arkansas 3.4%
Mississippi -1.6%
Kentucky 2.7%

Through March:
North Carolina 2.2%
Florida 4.5%
South Carolina 7.3%

So, Georgia continues to move ahead, even if at a slowing rate. Some concern occurred when total jobs created fell for the second month. But unemployment claims are not up.

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