RICHMOND – Governor McAuliffe announced today that November General Fund revenue rose 13.4 percent in November, compared to the previous year. On a fiscal year-to-date basis, total revenue collections rose 5.4 percent, ahead of the annual forecast of a 1.7 percent increase.
Speaking about the November increase, Governor McAuliffe said “November was clearly a strong month for revenue collections and a positive indicator that our Commonwealth’s economy is headed in the right direction. This is a clear sign that our efforts to grow and diversify Virginia’s economy are paying off, but we can’t afford to let up now. As we prepare for another budget cycle and legislative session, I look forward to working with the General Assembly to pass a balanced budget that advances key economic priorities, and passing an agenda that lays a strong foundation for sustained economic growth.”
The main driver of the revenue increase was payroll withholding taxes. Collections of payroll withholding taxes rose 18.9 percent in November, which had one more deposit day compared with last year. December will have one fewer deposit day compared to a year ago and a more complete picture on withholding receipts will be available then as the state gets to this fiscal year’s halfway mark.
Collections of sales and use taxes, reflecting October sales, fell 9.2 percent in November. This decline was mainly due to fact that last year’s collections in November were relatively high given some prior year recoveries, a onetime event.
Finally, collections of wills, suits, deeds, and contracts – mainly recordation tax collections – were $30.4 million in November, compared with $25.4 million in November of last year, a 19.8 percent increase.
On a year-to-date basis, total revenues are up 5.4 percent through November, well ahead of the annual forecast of 1.7 percent growth. Collections of payroll withholding taxes – 64 percent of General Fund revenues -- increased 7.1 percent, ahead of the annual forecast of 3.0 percent growth. Sales tax collections - 18 percent of General Fund revenues – decreased 2.5 percent through November, behind the annual forecast calling for a 2.6 percent increase. Wills, suits, deeds, and contracts were up 12.9 percent, ahead of the annual forecast of a 5.5 percent increase.
The Governor will release any revisions to the current revenue forecast on December 16 when the he addresses the joint money committees of the General Assembly to introduce budget recommendations for the 2017 General assembly session.