Georgia tax revenues up in September

ATLANTA — Tax collections in the state were up in September compared to a year ago, as year-to-date revenue collections in Georgia continued to exceed the year-to-day collections for the same period in 2012.

Gov. Nathan Deal’s office announced Tuesday that net tax collections in Georgia last month totaled $1.72 billion, up $132 million — or 8.3 percent — from the amount the went into state coffers in September 2012.

That increase comprised more than half of the year-to-date tax revenue increase of $247.5 million for year-to-date collections. So far this fiscal year, Georgia has brought in $4.48 billion in net tax revenue collections, a 5.8 percent increase from the first few months of FY 2013.

The Governor’s Office said that changes within the some major tax categories explain the net tax revenue increase in September. Individual income tax collections for September were $885.5 million — up from $827 million in September 2012, for an increase of $58.5 million, or 7.1 percent.

Within the individual income tax category, individual withholding payments were up $44.25 million, or 6.6 percent; individual income tax refunds issued (net of voided checks) were up $3.5 million, or 11.2 percent; individual estimated payments were up $13 million, or 9.5 percent, and all other individual categories, including return payments, were up a combined $4.75 million year over year for the month.

Sales tax collections were down year to year. Gross sales tax collections declined $48.5 million, a 5.7 percent decrease, compared to last year. Sales and use tax collections for September decreased $38.25 million, or a 8.3 percent drop — down from nearly $459.75 million in September 2012 to $421.5 million in FY 2014. The adjusted sales tax distribution to local governments totaled $380.75 million, which was a decrease of $8.25 million compared to September 2012.

Corporate income tax collections for September, meanwhile, increased $29.25 million, or 19.5 percent, compared to last year when corporate tax revenues totaled nearly $150.5 million for the month.

Within the corporate income tax category, corporate tax refunds issued (net of voided checks) were down $8.25 million, or a 52.4 percent drop; corporate Estimated payments for September increased $21 million, or 15.2 percent, and all other corporate tax categories combined for a slight increase of $90,000 compared to FY 2013

Motor vehicle fee and tax collections for September totaled $98.25 million, which was $74.5 million higher than the previous year. The large year-over-year increase, the office said, was the result of a change in the tax code that took effect March 1. The new law established a title ad valorem tax that replaced the automobile sales tax that was traditionally assessed on the purchase price of a car and the annual ad valorem “birthday” tax paid on a vehicle’s assessed value.

Gross sales tax collections have been reduced while Motor Vehicle fees have increased by an average of $56 million per month since the April filing period began, the office reported.