August revenue for state $3.6 million less than estimated

By Julie Fann

State revenues for the month of August, the first month in the 2002-2003 fiscal year, were $3.6 million less than the budgeted estimate, Finance and Administration Commissioner Warren Neel announced Friday.
   Department of Revenue collections were $602.9 million. The collections include new revenue collected under the Tax Reform Act of 2002.
   "This is just the first month of the year. With any one month standing alone, there are some dangers in trying to extrapolate predictions and data for the entire year," said Gerald Adams, Deputy Finance Commissioner for the state.
   Sales and use tax collections for the month of August 2001 were $381 million and increased to $421 million for August 2002, with a difference of $40 million or a 10.51 percent increase from a year ago.
   "The $40 million is revenue that came in from the sales tax rate change. If we had not increased the sales tax rate, we wouldn't have that revenue," Adams said.
   Franchise and excise taxes combined were $1.9 million more than the estimated $18.8 million for the month.
   Gasoline taxes and motor vehicle registration collections were $3.5 million more than the budgeted estimate of $87.3 million.
   Inheritance taxes were over-collected by $7.1 million for the month, and all other taxes were under-collected by a net of $12.1 million.
   The budgeted revenue estimates are based upon the State Funding Board's consensus recommendation adopted by the second session of the 102nd General Assembly in June 2002.