May Revenue Update: General Fund Revenues Remain Weak; Structural Imbalance Persists Between General Fund and Property Tax Relief Fund
TRENTON – The Department of the Treasury today announced that dedicated revenues remain stable while General Fund revenues remain weak for FY 2018 with the Corporation Business Tax (CBT) seeing a substantial decline for the month of May.
As State Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio has pointed out in recent months, despite the growth in dedicated revenue sources – the Gross Income Tax (GIT) and the Petroleum Products Receipt Tax (PPGRT) – a challenging structural imbalance remains due to the weakness in revenues supporting the General Fund. Excluding the GIT and the PPGRT, collectively all other major revenues are down $120.4 million so far in FY 2018.
The CBT declined 44.8 percent in May and is down 3.4 percent for the year. The CBT for banks and financial institutions is down 26.8 percent year-to-date. Additionally, the Motor Fuels Tax, Estate Tax, the Cigarette Tax, and Casino Revenues are also down through the end of May.
Overall, May revenue collections for major taxes were up 6.3 percent compared to last May, however this is due solely to the growth in two of the State’s dedicated revenue sources. Year-to-date, total revenues increased $1.478 billion, or 5.9 percent, tracking closely with the FY 2018 revised aggregate target.
The Sales and Use Tax, the largest General Fund revenue, was up 1.1 percent in May and is growing by only 1.5 percent year-to-date due to recent tax rate reductions.
May collections for the GIT rebounded from April’s weak performance. Net receipts of $990.3 million were up $116.2 million, or 13.3 percent above last May. Of that growth, $71.5 million was due primarily to the annual “tail” of final 1040 tax payments lagging into May. The GIT, which is dedicated to the Property Tax Relief Fund, is up 9.4 percent year-to-date in FY 2018, $1.125 billion above the same point last year.
The State’s other significant dedicated revenue, the PPGRT, is up 70.7 percent through the end of May, $474.0 million above the same point last year, due to a statutory tax rate increase. These funds, however, are dedicated to the Transportation Trust Fund.
June will be the 12th month of FY 2018, featuring important quarterly estimated payments for the GIT and the CBT. In particular, the CBT’s June quarterly estimated payments are highly uncertain following a 16.0 percent decline during April and a 19.5 percent decline in May. Treasury estimates some improvement in June, but if double-digit declines continue, the CBT would fall below the year-end target.
# # #May 2018 Revenue Report