State tax revenue continues to come in below forecasts, but the latest figures from the Nebraska Department of Revenue came in just below the forecast.
While July gross tax receipts were off by more than two percent, the August receipts came in only one-tenth of a percent under projections.
State Tax Commissioner Tony Fulton says the latest numbers appear a bit more promising.
“We just need to continue to monitor pretty closely what’s going on from month-to-month,” Fulton tells Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN. “Overall, fiscal year, we’re still down by 2.7%.”
Fulton says state government must continue to monitor its spending as Gov. Pete Ricketts has instructed.
The Department of Revenue reports gross tax receipts in August totaled $468.8 million, just below the forecast of $469.2 million. That is much better than in July when gross tax receipts were off projections by 2.2%.
Gross sales tax receipts fell 2.7% below the forecast, but gross individual income tax receipts came in 1.6% above the forecast. Gross corporate income tax receipts fell far off the forecast; 20.4% under the certified forecast.
Nebraska is two months into the new fiscal year. Net General Fund receipts for fiscal year 2016-17 were $645 million, which is 2.7% below the certified forecast of $663 million.
Fulton is encouraged by the latest figures, but still cautious.
“So, from my vantage as the tax commissioner, August was a little bit better than months previous, but that doesn’t mean that we’re not going to watch very cautiously what’s coming in the upcoming months,” according to Fulton.
Fulton still wants to see more than just the first two months of the fiscal year.
“You’d like to know the trend one way or the other and August tracked almost spot on,” Fulton says. “And so I look at that and say, ok, well let’s see what September brings. And in the meantime, we just know that in the whole grand scheme of things, for the fiscal year, we are down a little bit.”
The Nebraska Economic Forecasting Advisory Board certified its forecast on February 26, 2016. The forecast was adjusted for legislation passed in the 2016 legislative session, divided into monthly estimates and certified to the Clerk of the Legislature by the Tax Commissioner and Legislative Fiscal Analyst on July 13th.
Jane Monnich, KLIN, contributed to this report.