Eric Douglas Published

July Revenue Up, But Severance Taxes Off Considerably

A black calculator and a silver pen and some forms with calculations written on them.Adobe Stock

July is often one of the slowest months for revenue collection, according to a press release from Gov. Jim Justice’s office, but general revenue collections were almost $8 million higher than expected. Total collections were $335 million.

The state has recorded record budget surpluses in recent years with the fiscal year that just ended totaling a $1.8 billion surplus. This has been achieved mostly through flat budget projections. 

“Although our surplus this month isn’t as high as we’ve seen in the past, what this proves is that we’ve been minding the store properly by keeping our base budget flat,” Justice said. “We had phenomenal surpluses last year, and I strongly believe we are going to have a strong surplus this year too, despite the effects of ‘Bidenomics’ at work with runaway inflation eating into West Virginians’ pockets. It’s the perfect time to mind the store properly, which is what West Virginians elected me to do and I have done.”

Personal Income Tax collections for July were $13.9 million above estimate with collections of $145.6 million. Corporation Net Income Tax collections of $19 million were $8.5 million above estimate and 31.7 percent ahead of last year.

The other major sources of General Revenue for July included $93.6 million in Consumer Sales Tax, $25.5 million in Insurance Premium Tax revenues, and $13.7 million in Tobacco Products Excise Tax.

The press release also noted that severance taxes on coal and natural gas have gone down after a considerable drop in prices. 

Severance Tax collections for July of this year are 93 percent lower than last July with a difference of more than $50 million.

For this year’s July severance taxes, the state received just $3,756,000 on a budget of $27,400,000.