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Jan. 14 – Georgia’s December tax revenues down -4.5 percent

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

January 14, 2018 – Governor-Elect Brian Kemp will be sworn into office today at 2:00 p.m. in Atlanta, and the Georgia General Assembly will officially get to work this week. 

One of the first orders of business each year for the General Assembly is consideration of the Governor’s proposed Annual Budget, as well as a potential Supplemental Budget that addresses whether there have been an increase or decrease in state revenues since the budget was approved last February.

And, there is money to potentially spend in a Supplemental Budget appropriation, though there are some negative trends.

One of Gov. Nathan Deal’s final press releases last week was the December tax revenues, released last week.

Georgia’s net tax collections for December totaled $2.16 billion, for a decrease of $102.5 million, or -4.5 percent, compared to last year when net tax collections totaled roughly $2.26 billion. Year-to-date, net tax revenue collections totaled nearly $11.82 billion, for an increase of almost $517 million, or 4.6 percent, compared to December 2017, when tax revenues totaled $11.3 billion.

The current month’s decrease in revenue is primarily due to a comparison with the unparalleled December 2017 increase of Estimated Income Tax payments, which were filed as an anticipated incentive for individual income taxpayers due to the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, according to Gov. Deal’s office.

The changes within the following tax categories contributed to the overall net tax revenue decrease in December:

Individual Income Tax: Individual Income Tax collections for December totaled roughly $1.14 billion, for a decrease of $117.2 million, or -9.3 percent, compared to last year when Individual Income Tax collections totaled $1.26 billion.

The following notable components within Individual Income Tax combine for the net decrease:

Individual Income Tax refunds issued (net of voided checks) were down $17.1 million, or -40.8 percent.

Individual Withholding payments were up $40.9 million, or 4 percent.

Individual Estimated Tax payments were down $150.3 million, or -78.1 percent.

All other Individual Tax categories, including Individual Return payments, were down a combined $24.9 million.

Sales and Use Tax: Gross Sales and Use Tax collections for the month totaled $1.04 billion, for an increase of nearly $93.8 million, or 9.9 percent, compared to December 2017. Net Sales and Use Tax increased by $30.3 million, or 6.1 percent, compared to December 2017, when Net Sales and Use Tax totaled roughly $495.8 million. The adjusted distribution of sales tax to local governments totaled $502.9 million, for an increase of $54.8 million, or 12.2 percent, over last year. Finally, sales tax refunds increased by nearly $8.7 million, or 337.9 percent, compared to December 2017, when sales tax refunds totaled $2.6 million.

Corporate Income Tax: Corporate Income Tax collections for December decreased by roughly $5.7 million, or -3.1 percent, compared to last year when net Corporate Tax revenues totaled $185.7 million.

The following notable components within Corporate Income Tax make up the net decrease:

Corporate Income Tax refunds issued (net of voided checks) were up $6.4 million, or 116.9 percent.

Corporate Income Tax Return payments were down $10.6 million, or -30.9 percent.

All other Corporate Tax categories, including Corporate Estimated payments, were up a combined $11.3 million.

Motor Fuel Taxes: Motor Fuel Tax collections during the month increased by nearly $1 million, or 0.7 percent, compared to December 2017.

Motor Vehicle Tag & Title Fees: Motor Vehicle Tag & Title Fees for the month decreased by roughly $2.4 million, or -8.4 percent, compared to December 2017. Title Ad Valorem Tax (TAVT) collections decreased by $3.5 million, or -5.1 percent, compared to last year when TAVT collections totaled $70.1 million.

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