Dave Williams Capitol Beat News Service
Georgia closed out fiscal 2022 last month with a bulging budget surplus fueled by a significant increase in tax revenue.
The state Department of Revenue collected $2.85 billion in taxes in June, up 14.2% over June of last year, Gov. Brian Kemp’s office reported Friday.
During the full fiscal year, which ended June 30, the state brought in $33.09 billion in tax receipts, an increase of 23% over fiscal 2021, as Georgia’s economy continued to rebound from the pandemic. Individual income taxes last month rose 14% over June of last year, with payments up 6% and refunds down 32%.
Net sales tax collections in June increased 12% over the same month in 2021. Corporate income taxes, typically more volatile than individual income or sales taxes, rose 47.2% last month over June 2021, with both payments and refunds up substantially.
Due to Kemp’s decision to suspend collections of the state sales tax on gasoline, gas tax revenues plummeted by 99.5% last month compared to June of last year.
The General Assembly suspended the collection of the tax in March as pump prices began rising toward record highs. Kemp has extended the sales tax holiday twice since then, with the latest extension due to expire in mid-August.
A healthy surplus allowed Georgia lawmakers to adopt a $30.2 billion fiscal 2023 budget in April, just shy of the $30.3 billion fiscal 2022 mid-year spending plan, including pay raises for teachers and state employees as well as a $1.1 billion tax refund.
With tax collections still going strong, the outlook for the next state budget appears promising. However, inflation and the threat of a recession loom as reasons for concern. (Rome News-Tribune)
This story is available through a news partnership with Capitol Beat News Service, a project of the Georgia Press Educational Foundation.