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May Va general revenues grow by 20.5 percent

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Virginia general revenue increased last month by 20.5 percent over May 2012 in one of the year's most significant tax collection months.

That puts the state ahead of its budgeted forecast 11 months through its fiscal year.

On a year-to-date basis, total revenue collections rose 6 percent through May, ahead of the annual forecast of 3.6 percent growth.

State Secretary of Finance Ric Brown's monthly revenue report to Gov. Bob McDonnell says Virginia needs to collect $1.7 billion in June to meet its budgeted general revenue target of $16.4 billion and finish the budget year with its balance sheet in the black. It collected $1.9 billion in last June, the final month of the fiscal year.

In a statement Thursday, McDonnell said while it appears the state is on track to post its fourth-straight revenue surplus, "caution is in order before projecting too far out" about the end of the fiscal year.

The May increase was thanks largely to a surge in "nonwithholding" income tax collections, or estimated income tax payments paid largely by the self-employed and on dividends. Final payments for 2012 and the first estimated payment for 2013 are both due May 1.

Officials say sales and use tax collections — a category of taxes which accounts for 20 percent of all general revenues — grew 2.7 percent for the month. Individual income tax withholding, which makes up 63 percent of general fund revenues, fell 1.8 percent in May.