Interim Report: Joint Standing Committee on Finance – Wrap Up

April 16, 2024 | by magnews24.com

Mark Muchow, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Revenue, gave members of the Joint Standing Committee on Finance an overview of West Virginia’s current financial standing Monday morning during April interim meetings in the House Chamber.

Muchow started with the General Revenue Fund, calling March a “very good month.” He informed members that the state collected $487.4 million last month, nearly $95 million above the estimate.

According to Muchow, the state has collected $4.068 billion in general revenue thus far year-to-date, which is $522.9 million above the projected estimate of $3.054 billion. However, despite being more than half-a-billion-dollars above estimate, he informed members that general revenue is down 11.8 percent compared to last year.

He noted that the revenue figures for this year incorporate the 21.25 percent reduction in personal income tax. The tax cut combined with severance tax collections declining to normal levels this year have led to the nearly 12 percent decrease in revenue according to Muchow.

He informed the committee that the state collected $147.2 million in sales tax in March, bringing year-to-date sales tax collections to $1.315 billion. Personal income tax collected in March totaled $198.3 million, bringing the year-to-date total to $$1.635 billion. March’s severance tax collections totaled $48.2 million, bringing the year-to-date number to $247.5 million.

Muchow  focused on the year-over year comparison between this year and last year regarding the general road fund, explaining that revenue estimates have been updated on two different occasions this year.

He informed the committee that in March overall collections, including federal reimbursement, came in at $129.1 million. He explained that the estimate was $171 million,  so it’s technically $42 million below estimate, but that is only because of a huge revision upward by the Department of Transportation’s estimate of federal funds received.

Muchow stated that federal funds received by the state in March totaled only $45.5 million, which is down considerably from the $62.2 million received last year. However, year-to-date, the West Virginia DOT has received nearly $577 million, representing an increase of 19.4 percent over last year.

“We’re still on pace for a record year for federal reimbursement,” Muchow said.

Finally, Muchow told members that motor fuel tax collections totaled $28.8 million in March while registration fees totaled $11.9 million, and motor vehicle sales taxes came in at $23.6 million.

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