Gov. Justice: West Virginia on a roll, surpluses continue

CHARLESTON, WV – Gov. Jim Justice announced today that West Virginia’s general revenue collections for the month of November came in at $20.1 million above estimates and 6.1% above prior year receipts, closing the books on yet another positive financial month, despite the effects that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the state’s economy.

West Virginia has now banked surpluses in each of the first five months of Fiscal Year 2021. Gov. Justice reported that year-to-date general revenue collections are $131.7 million above estimates and 9.1% above prior year receipts.

“All West Virginians should be incredibly proud of what we’re accomplishing, especially when you think about everything else that’s going on in this nation right now,” Gov. Justice said. “The pandemic, no question, has been a punch to the stomach. But we kept our economy moving and we’ve stayed on this great roll we’ve been on.

“When it boils right down to it, putting together five straight months of growth in any year is pretty dadgum tough,” Gov. Justice continued. “But to do it this year is especially incredible.”

Total General Revenue Fund collections for the month of November were $342.5 million. Year-to-date collections have totaled $1.937 billion; nearly $162 million above prior year receipts.

“As we watch over the state’s finances, we try not to get too high or too low. But we continue to be incredibly impressed and pleased with the numbers we’re seeing so far this year,” West Virginia Department of Revenue Secretary Dave Hardy said. “To have month after month of surpluses, even during these challenging times, is really a testament to Governor Justice’s business acumen and leadership. It positions West Virginia really well to keep growing and to build more success off of success.”

“We are truly marketing ourselves better than ever. We’re telling our story and the outside world is finally realizing that West Virginia is the diamond in the rough they all missed,” Gov. Justice said. “Just think, in November alone we’ve announced that major international companies like DST, Klöckner Pentaplast, and Gruppo Fanti have all chosen West Virginia as their home to build on what they’re doing. That’s more jobs and more dollars going into our economy. We’re hoping to see more and more businesses and people moving into West Virginia in the years to come and the ripple effects will just bring more and more goodness for everyone.”

A summary by major component follows:

  • Consumer sales tax collections rose by 7.5% in November, as monthly collections of $133.6 million were $6.6 million above estimate. Cumulative collections of $591.6 million were $25.7 million above estimate and 6.5% above prior year receipts.
  • Personal income tax collections totaled $149.8 million in November. Collections were $14.8 million above the monthly estimate. Cumulative personal income tax collections were $45.7 million above estimate and 15.7% ahead of last year. The November revenue gains were largely attributable to a 10.4% rise in monthly wage and salary withholding tax collections in comparison with the prior year.
  • November severance tax collections totaled $21.0 million and cumulative collections totaled $54.2 million. Collections for the year-to-date were $6.9 million above estimate.
  • Corporation net income tax collections totaled $2.1 million in October. Collections were $1.6 million above estimate. Cumulative collections totaled $118.6 million as compared with $67.1 million in the prior year. Year-to-date receipts were $50.6 million above estimate.
  • November collections included $2.0 million from abandoned and unclaimed property receipts.
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