Notes from the Senate

by | September 19, 2018 4:44 pm

by SENATOR JACK HILL, 4th District
   AUGUST IS A SPECTACULAR MONTH FOR REVENUES

   Led by the top two categories’ strong performance, August state revenues turned in a very strong month growing 7.0% on total revenues of $1.803 billion. The total gain over a year ago for the month was $117.4 million. This puts the state some $90 million ahead of budget for the two months of the FY 2019 budget.

   INCOME TAX CATEGORY OVER 8%

   Individual Income Taxes were up 8.9% for the month on revenues of $939.4 million. Within that category, while refunds were up $14.7 million, Individual Withholding Payments were up substantially, some $78.7 million, and other categories were also up a total of $13 million.

   SALES TAXES ABNORMALLY HIGH

   Net Sales Taxes category showed a gain of 11.7%, way above the normal 3% level. Total revenues for net Sales Taxes were $518.1 million for the month.

   OTHER CATEGORIES UP AND DOWN

   Corporate Income Taxes were up 23.8% for the month. Tag, Title and Fees gained slightly, $3.9 million, while Title Ad Valorem Taxes were a negative $14.3 million. Tobacco revenues were flat at -1% and Alcoholic Beverages gained 7.2%.

   TRANSPORTATION TAXES FLAT FOR AUGUST

   Motor Fuel Taxes were negative for August at minus $154,000. Impact fees gained $87,000 and Hotel/Motel fees increased $269,000. Altogether, Transportation Taxes and fees increased ever so slightly, $202,000.

   AFTER 2 MONTHS, OVER 5% GROWTH

   Two months into the Fiscal year, Georgia’s economy is clicking on all cylinders. Already exceeding $3.5 billion in receipts, total receipts are $176.7 million ahead of last year. That’s a growth rate of 5.2%, a rate that will put the state at the top of Southeastern states in revenue growth.

   INDIVIDUAL AND CORPORATE TAXES LEAD THE WAY

   So far, Individual Income Taxes are growing at a 6.5% rate and corporate income taxes are up $15.9 million. Especially noteworthy are the strong gains in Withholding payments, a leading indicator of economic activity and growth.
   SALES TAXES LEAD THE WAY

   Net Sales Tax collections after two months are up 7.1%, some $69.3 million ahead of last year.

   OTHER CATEGORIES VARY

   Tag, Title and Fees are negative for the year slightly at -1.7%. Title Ad Valorem Taxes are also negative at -13.8%. Tobacco taxes are negative at -2.7% and Alcoholic Beverages are flat at a positive 1.0%.

   TRANSPORTATION TAXES UP SLIGHTLY

   After two months, Motor Fuel taxes are up $7.5 million, Impact Fees up $110,000 and Hotel/Motel fees are up $931,000. Altogether Transportation Taxes/Fees are up $8.6 million or about 2.6%.

   GEORGIA LEADING THE WAY

   It is hard to find fault with almost any economic indicator in Georgia’s present picture. Maybe it won’t last, but right now, revenues look very strong, job announcements continue and unemployment continues at historic lows.
   I may be reached at 234 State Capitol, Atlanta, GA 30334; 404-656-5038 (phone); 404-657-7094 (fax); e-mail at Jack.Hill@senate.ga.gov; toll-free at 1-800-367-3334, day or night; or by phone at my Reidsville office, 912-557-3811.

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