State revenues tumble in April

MONTPELIER — State revenues declined sharply in April, bringing the year-to-date revenues of the state’s General Fund below its target with two months remaining in the fiscal year.

Secretary of Administration Susanne Young said Thursday that General Fund revenues collected in April totaled $201.1 million, which is $21.65 million below its monthly target. The monthly haul missed the target set in January by the state’s Emergency Board by 9.7 percent.

The poor showing last month was driven by a steep decline in the personal income tax, which was $25.34 million less than expected. Corporate tax collected in April were ahead of projections by $3.94 million.

Through the first 10 months of the 2017 fiscal year, total receipts in the state’s General Fund are 3.55 million below projections. The General Fund has taken in a total of $1.238 billion, while the target was $1.241 billion.

Young said the total receipts do not take into account up to $16 million of corporate tax refund requests that are still pending and under review.

“We knew that our revenue picture for the fiscal year would come into focus at the end of April,” Young said in a statement. “Unfortunately, while we ended March with a $18.1 million positive position, the April revenue downturn has moved us to a net negative $3.5 million position.”

“The lower-than-expected tax receipts in April coupled with relatively flat receipts in meals and rooms and sales and use taxes with only two months left in the fiscal year is a concern. I will not be surprised to see a revenue downgrade in July as new consensus targets are established,” Young added.

Meanwhile, the state’s Transportation Fund took in $22.91 million in April, which is $1.47 million less than the $24.38 million target. The Transportation Fund was impacted by a decrease across all revenue streams in the fund, Young said. Over the first 10 months of the fiscal year, the Transportation Fund has taken in $216.19 million, $3 million less than the $219.16 million target.

The Education Fund collected $15.75 million in April, which is $1.22 million below the $16.97 million target set in January.

Despite the lackluster collection in April, the General Fund has collected 2.42 percent more this year than through the first 10 months of last year. That amounts to $29.26 million more collected this year compared to last year.

The Transportation Fund has collected 1.28 percent, or $2.73 million, more than last year, while the Education Fund has seen a 0.01 percent decline this year compared to last year.

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