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Three months into the new budget cycle finds state leaders still unsure how to spend last year’s surplus, and state coffers are again brimming with tax dollars that have increased by almost 10 percent above first quarter receipts last year and are beating estimates by $323 million.

Department of Revenue Commissioner Christopher Harding announced Wednesday that September tax collections of more than $3.2 billion beat the monthly benchmark by $271 million and were up 13.3 percent from September of last year. The September haul, according to DOR, has left the state with $610 million more than it had after the first quarter of fiscal 2018 (an increase of 9.6 percent), and tax collections are ahead of fiscal 2019 targets for the year by $323 million.

“Revenues for September exceeded the monthly benchmark, mainly driven by estate taxes, which are reflected in the ‘Other’ tax grouping, and by corporate tax payments,” Harding said in a statement. “The department has identified some one-time revenue events that improved September revenue performance, beyond which we see modest growth across most other tax categories, roughly in line with expectations.”

Withholding and sales collections were close to benchmark, both falling just shy of estimates by just $8 million and $2 million respectively. Corporate and business taxes, however, were $98 million above the monthly target and income taxes were $46 million above benchmark.

The department said the September sales tax figures, which were up 3.4 percent or $18 million from last year, reflected the impact of the sales tax holiday weekend in August. The benchmark, however, was calculated before the holiday was authorized.

A full report on the revenue impact of this year’s sales tax holiday will be completed by December, DOR said. The “other” category accounted for $324 million in taxes paid in September, which was $129 million or 66.2 percent higher than the benchmark and 62.8 percent higher than the same month last year.

Corporate, Estate Taxes Drive Big September Tax Haul

by State House News Service time to read: 1 min