October 23, 2014

Christmas sales pushes state tax revenue above projections

Solid Christmas sales have pushed tax receipts above projections.

In fact, it appears Nebraskans not only spent more during the Christmas shopping season, they earned more and their businesses made more in profits.

January tax receipts have been released. Net receipts from the first month of the year totaled $333 million, more than eight percent better than forecast. Net sales tax receipts for January exceeded forecasts by 5.8%. Net individual income tax receipts beat the forecast by 10.9%. Net corporate income tax came in 22.1% above the forecast.

State Tax Commissioner Doug Ewald says the January receipts continue an encouraging trend.

“We’re $25.6 million ahead, from a net receipt perspective. If you compare this to the October 2011 revised forecast, we’re $20.8 million ahead, about a $5 million difference there,” according to Ewald.

Receipts in January didn’t just beat the forecast; they beat the receipts from a year ago.

“January of 2012 is 15% ahead of January of 2011, so that’s a good thing. In actual receipts, the first seven months of the fiscal year here is 7 ½% ahead of the first seven months of the prior fiscal year,” Ewald says. “So, we’re building some momentum here.”

Only one aspect of the report indicates the momentum could be interrupted in the months ahead. Tax refunds lagged 9.3% behind in January, totaling $47 million. They were forecast to come in at $52 million. Refunds will catch up and that could dampen tax revenue coming into state coffers the next couple of months.

View the numbers by clicking here.