State tax revenue continues to flow in well ahead of the forecast for a budget constricted on account of pandemic uncertainties.
In December, the gross revenue was $605.3 million, 1.4 percent less than the same month last year, but 7.6 percent more than the forecast on which the budget is based. The monthly report notes timing differences contributed to a drop in income tax withholding. A good barometer, sales taxes, were up 2.1 percent over December 2019.
Gross revenues for the first six months of the fiscal year were $3.697 billion. That’s $320.7 million, or 9.5 percent more than the same period last year. It is $348.7 million above the forecast.
In the net revenue category, after off-the-top reductions, the state is showing $319.4 million more than the forecast on which the budget is based. It is, in other words, surplus. The state notes that a delay of the income tax deadline last year into this fiscal year swells the number.
The surplus will figure in the coming legislature, where major competing interests seem to be building a big surplus and giving the rich another income tax cut. A few lonely voices think the state should invest more in schools and other public services.