by Brent Addleman, for The Center Square
(The Center Square) – May was an underperforming month for tax collections in Vermont, according to new figures released by the Agency of Administration.
While revenue did fall short for the general fund, Secretary of Administration Kristin Clouser said the transportation and education funds met their monthly targets as $197.5 million was collected.
“May represents the third month in a row the state has failed to achieve its combined monthly consensus revenue target,” Clouser said in a statement. “Although the administration is confident the General Fund will exceed its fiscal year-end goal, it remains to be seen by how much. June will be critical for determining whether the transportation and education funds meet their respective annual consensus forecast targets as approved by the Emergency Board.”
However, the collections fell shy of the target by $1.9 million.
The Transportation Fund, according to a release, reached its $26.2 million target but is still $1.4 million below the target for the fiscal year. Meanwhile, the gasoline tax, diesel tax, motor vehicle purchase and use tax, and other fees came in $1.1 million below target.
However, according to a release, this missed target was offset as motor vehicle fees revenue in May was over the target by $1.1 million.
According to a release, revenues in the Education Fund came in above the $53.6 million May target by $300,000. However, a $200,000 drop in motor vehicle purchase and use tax and an $800,000 miss in sales and use tax were offset by $800,000 in higher-than-expected revenues from net interest and a $500,000 overage in meals and rooms tax and lottery receipts.
For the year, according to a release, the general fund eclipsed the annual revenue forecast for the fiscal year 2023 that the Emergency Board ratified at a Jan. 17 meeting. The consensus target remained at $30 million, just above the $29 million target set during the same meeting.
According to a release for May, the state collected $117.3 million in general fund revenues, which was $2.3 million under the monthly consensus cash flow target of $119.6 million. Plus, personal income tax receipts could have improved by $1.5 million, coming under the mark for the fourth consecutive month.
According to a release, health care revenues came in $3.3 million under target and featured a combined $4.1 million decline in insurance tax and net property transfer tax receipts.
According to a release for May, the corporate income tax and the meals and rooms tax were substantial and were $4.9 million over the target. Another $1.7 million was culled in the estate tax, liquor tax, and other taxes.
“The results of that July consensus forecast update and how revenues actually fare over the first half of next fiscal year in a highly uncertain environment will also determine the size and direction of any prospective budget adjustments that may be necessary in January,” Clouser said in a statement.
Author is an Associate Editor of the Center Square publication and a veteran journalist with more than 25 years of experience. He has served as editor of newspapers in Pennsylvania and Texas, and has also worked at newspapers in Delaware, Maryland, New York, and Kentucky.