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April Va. general revenue up slightly over 2012

Bob Lewis, AP Political Writer

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Virginia general revenue increased last month by 2.2 percent over April 2012 in one of the year's most significant tax collection months, putting Virginia slightly ahead of its budgeted forecast 10 months through its fiscal year.

That means Virginia must collect about $3.6 billion in May and June to meet its budgeted general revenue target of $16.4 billion and finish the budget year with its balance sheet in the black. The state treasury collected almost $3.5 million in the final two months of the past fiscal year and $3.4 million during that period in 2011.

The general budget convers such core government services as health care, education and public safety.

April is a major month for individual income taxes because Virginians typically file their state returns by the federal tax deadline of April 15 rather than Virginia's due date of May 1. Net individual income taxes comprise two-thirds of the general budget and increased by about $53 million, or 5.5 percent, over the same month a year ago.

Monthly sales tax collections held unchanged from a year ago, a figure that actually represents retailing in March of both years. That leaves sales tax collections — about one-fifth of the budget — about $728 million, or 0.5 percent, short of their $3.2 billion forecast two months before the July 1 start of the new fiscal year.

Corporate income tax collections were down by 10.1 percent and have yet to show a monthly increase in calendar year 2013. For the year to date, corporate income taxes are down 8.2 percent from the same point last year, lagging the forecast for a decline of only 4.5 percent. Total corporate tax collections of $5.9 billion 10 months into the fiscal year are the lowest since April of 2009, when they were nearly $5.6 billion.

The tax paid to record deeds, wills, contracts and lawsuits continued to exceed official expectations as Virginia's real estate market roars back. It showed a monthly increase of 13.3 percent for April and a fiscal year-to-date increase of 17.5 percent, its best since a gain of 25 percent by the same point in 2006.