State General Fund revenues down in April; several factors at play

May 19, 2017

Secretary of Finance Richard D. Brown issued his report on April revenue collections on May 11.  Total General Fund revenue collections fell 3.4 percent in April relative to last year, a drop largely driven by underperformance in individual income tax non-withholding payments.  However, Secretary Brown’s letter cautions that April and May collections must be considered together in order to provide a true picture of revenue growth, since estimated and final payments for non-withholding continue to be processed in May.  In addition, this April was one deposit day shorter than last April, potentially skewing the comparison with last year.

On a fiscal-year-to-date basis, total revenue collections are ahead of the forecast of 2.9 percent growth, rising 3.6 percent.  Individual income tax withholding, responsible for 63 percent of General Fund revenues, grew only 0.7 percent in April, but continues to outpace the forecast on a year-to-date basis.  By contrast, sales tax collections continue to lag the forecast of 2.8 percent growth, increasing by 1.3 percent year-to-date.

In an article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Secretary Brown said that he was “cautiously optimistic” that revenues will exceed projections by the end of the fiscal year.  His report notes that May and June are both significant months for revenue collections.

Secretary Brown’s April revenue letter may be found here.

VACo Contact: Katie Boyle

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