On his first full day on the job, new State Treasurer Ken Miller got to announce relatively good news on the state revenue front. December General Revenue (GR) collections were up 13.0 percent from one year ago and were 4.3 percent above the certified estimate.
As can be seen from this chart, December’s collections represent the largest month-over-month increase since the recovery began:
All major revenue sources were up this month compared to one year ago, with the largest gains being seen in personal income tax collections (+$18.7 million, 12.1 percent), corporate income tax (+$12.9 million, 71.8 percent) and general sales tax (+$9.4 million, 7 percent). Although total gross production tax collections also rose compared to last December, this is due to the inclusion of revenues from the gross production on oil; natural gas revenues were just $19.4 million, down from $30.2 million last year (note: under state law, the first $150 million annually of oil revenue goes to various dedicated funds; revenue above $150 million goes to GR).
While December collections show revenues clearly moving in the right direction, we must recall that the first six months of FY ’10 marked rock bottom for state revenues. While the state took in $454.5 million to GR this past month, two years ago, in FY ’09, GR collections were $567.3 million, or 25 percent more than this year. Comparing the entire first-half of FY ’11 to prior years, we see how far below pre-downturn peaks we remain: