|Total General Fund revenue collections grew 18.5 percent in March, with most of the increase due to an additional deposit day for payroll withholding and strong growth in sales and recordation taxes, Gov. Ralph Northam said Wednesday.
“Virginia’s solid revenue picture is yet another sign that we are emerging very strong from the pandemic and continue to address its impacts on our economy,” said Northam. “Together with the General Assembly, we have worked to ensure these gains will translate into additional relief to families and businesses and the targeted investments we need for a broad-based, equitable recovery.”
With one more deposit day than March of last year, collections of payroll withholding taxes rose 23.7 percent for the month. Collections of sales and use taxes, reflecting February sales, rose 8.1 percent in March. As refinancing and low interest rates continue to spur the housing market, collections of wills, suits, deeds, and contracts—mainly recordation tax collections—were $63.8 million in March, compared with $40.3 million in March of 2020, an increase of 58.3 percent.
“As always, the fourth quarter collections will be highly dependent on individual estimated and final payments,” said Secretary of Finance Aubrey Layne. “The last three months of the fiscal year are significant collections months. In addition to estimated and final payments from both corporations and individuals due in April and May, estimated payments are again due in June. I remind individual taxpayers that their final payment for tax year 2020 is due on May 17th, in tandem with the federal due date. However, the first individual estimated payment for tax year 2021 remains May 1st.”
On a year-to-date basis, collections of payroll withholding taxes—61 percent of General Fund revenues—increased 3.7 percent ahead of the same period last year, and ahead of the estimate of 2.7 percent growth. Sales tax collections—17 percent of General Fund revenues—increased 6.9 percent and are above the annual estimate of 4.8 percent growth. On a fiscal year-to-date basis, total General Fund revenue collections rose 9.0 percent in March, ahead of the annual forecast of 3.0 percent growth.