Georgia’s April revenues up from 2012, but . . .

The headline numbers look pretty good for Georgia’s revenues in April. The state’s major revenue streams are 1) income tax and 2) sales and use tax. While fairly noisy month to month, both these numbers are pretty good indicators of economic conditions.

Total revenues in April 2013 were up 13.2 percent from April 2012. Fiscal year-to-date, revenues are up 6.1 percent.

April income tax revenue topped a billion dollars — 26.1 percent higher than April 2012. That’s a pretty big increase, one due at least in part to “a reporting change with respect to Extension payments,” according to the press release from the Governor’s office.

Gross sales and use tax revenue was down 6.5 percent in April from a year earlier. Net sales and use tax (after local sales tax distributions and other adjustments) was down 13.6 percent year-over-year. The press release notes:

Gross Sales Tax collections were down $58.5 million compared to FY 2012 as a result of the recently implemented Title ad Valorem Tax fee law, which replaced both the point-of-sale sales tax on a vehicle and the annual ad valorem tax known as the “birthday tax,” effective March 1. Lastly, the combined impact of the monthly distribution to local governments and April refund activity was a decrease of $7.25 million to the month’s net collections.

For the fiscal year, both gross and net sales and use tax revenue have increased by less than 1 percent over last year. Given population growth, a strengthening economy, and some inflation, we’d expect to see more strength in consumer purchases subject to sales tax. Almost four years after the official end of the 2007-2009 recession, we’re still seeing some worrisome data.

Corporate income taxes represent a relatively small percentage of the state’s monthly revenue (about 4.4 percent year-to-date), but in April that stream was up 73.9 percent compared to April 2012. For the fiscal year, corporate income tax revenue is up 43.4 percent compared to 2012.

Click here for the PDF with all these numbers.

2 comments

  1. Al Gray says:

    Income taxes were up tremendously because of folks taking capital gains before the rate went up.

    Sales taxes in this particular quarter may be a better indicator than income taxes.

    Sales taxes being in the doldrums really bodes well for eliminating income taxes in favor of sales taxes.

  2. Al Gray says:

    A lot of folks probably would have paid the state income taxes in 2012 to get the deduction from the federal income tax in last year, reducing that factor.

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