February state tax receipts provide a mixed message, with net individual and corporate tax receipts below forecast, but net sales tax revenues above forecast.
Net individual income tax receipts last month came in 1.5% below forecast, according to the Department of Revenue. Net corporate income tax receipts last month fell far short of the forecast, off 63.4%. Individual tax receipts make up a much larger percentage of state revenue than corporate receipts.
Net February tax receipts totaled $216 million, 2.1% below the forecast of $221 million. Gross receipts totaled $397 million, 0.2% below the $398 million forecast. Tax refunds in February totaled $181 million, 2% above the forecast of $177 million.
State Tax Commissioner Doug Ewald says receipts have fallen below expectations, because the state has released more tax refunds than expected.
“Everything has kind of been pushed back. If you remember last month we were basically, I believe, $13-and-a-half million ahead. That’s because we pushed out fewer refunds on the individual side. This month (Feb.), we have made up with respect to some of that,” Ewald tells Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN.
Net miscellaneous tax receipts also came in below forecast last month, off 25.6%.
Ewald acknowledges that tax receipts, robust for a while, have dropped off a bit.
“The last two months have not been real good, but the several months before that have been extremely good and we’re still running almost $18 million ahead of forecast on corporate for this fiscal year,” according to Ewald.
While income tax receipts have come in below expectations, sales tax receipts have come in strong; 4.8% above the forecast.
“Sales taxes; extremely strong,” Ewald says. “I think that’s good news for us from an economic perspective. I can park everything else at the curb, if you will, with respect to individual and corporate and miscellaneous, but if I’m looking for a bellwether with respect to spending, sales tax was a strong item for us in the month of February.”
Jane Monnich, KLIN, contributed to this story.