When it comes to the state’s general fund, revenues are up more than 7% for the month of August. Part of that increase comes from higher coal prices, and the resulting higher coal severance taxes…the taxes that companies pay the state based on the value of that coal. State revenue analyst Greg Harkenrider says they weren’t expecting such an increase.
“$23,227,000, that amount for the month of August is pretty much an all time record for the coal severance tax in one month,” says Harkenrider.
But Harkenrider says that just because revenues were up in August, there’s nothing close to a surplus. And he says budget officials worry the increases aren’t sustainable. Property tax receipts from public utilities were up for example, but that’s because many paid their bills early. Also, sales tax revenues are up for the entire year, but Harkenrider says that could be because inflation is up and everything is more expensive. A full fiscal year projection will be ready at the end of October.