Accounting year ends in surplus

June closed out this fiscal year with net general revenues of $539 million for the month (-1.4 percent less than last year) according to this morning’s report from the Department of Finance and Administration. The year as a whole saw a similar -0.1 dip in revenues compared to 2013, but remained above forecast by $78.7 million (or 1.6 percent). The $5,022.4 million in net general revenue collections was enough for all budgeted categories to be funded. Net general revenue represents the bottom line of funds available for distribution to state agencies and is calculated by taking certain off-the-top deductions from gross general revenue (like education adequacy funding and tax refunds).

It’s important to note that even in a year in which the state has a surplus of nearly $79 million, pre-K funding has not seen an increase since 2008.

Individual income taxes saw an expected dip compared to last year. Total individual income tax revenues for fiscal year 2014 were $33.2 million (or -1.1 percent) less than last year and $10 million or (0.3 above forecast). Last year, in anticipation of an increase in federal tax rates, many tax filers shifted income into tax year 2012. This one time shift benefited fiscal year 2013 revenues and caused this year’s revenues to be comparatively modest.

Sales and use taxes during 2014 grew at about half the expected rate (increasing only 2.3 percent over the year compared to the expected rate of 3.9 percent) and came in about $35 million below forecast. Lower than expected sales and use revenues are attributed to modest economic growth during the year. Corporate income tax collections, however, came in above expectations, beating last year’s numbers and boosting total revenue collections by about $11 million. Other smaller taxes like insurance, gaming were also well above last year’s levels and the forecast.