Virginia revenue collections top projections

The sun rises over the Virginia Capitol. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury)

Virginia’s revenue collections are higher than projected so far this year, Gov. Ralph Northam’s office announced in a news release.

The state projected a 1.5 percent increase in tax collections for Virginia’s general fund. Collections have instead risen 2.7 percent, according to the governor’s office.

“The positive trends in this report indicate that our approach to growing and diversifying Virginia’s economy is working,” Northam said in a statement. “We have worked to strengthen our reserves, and as we move into Virginia’s next budget period, I’m committed to managing our revenues to continue our progress and ensure that our commonwealth can sustain long-term economic growth for years to come.”

The increase in revenue came from payroll and sales taxes, Northam’s office said.

Non-withholding payroll tax payments collected last month increased 15.4 percent over September 2017 and sales tax, based on August sales, grew 7.5 percent compared to the same time last year.

But not every revenue source increased: Corporate income tax collection fell 13.3 percent compared to last year.

That particular revenue stream is volatile, said Secretary of Finance Aubrey Layne, and a relatively small part of the state’s total revenue. Corporations can operate on different fiscal years, so payment to the state comes at different times, he said.