Another Broken Promise: NC Tax Revenue Down $420M Compared To Last Year
North Carolina continues on a path toward fiscal crisis as another report shows the tax revenue shortfall continuing to grow. Through five months of the fiscal year, state revenue is down $420 million compared to last year. Governor McCrory promised that tax reform would be revenue neutral, obviously that will go down as another broken promise. From the News and Observer article,
The state revenue lag persists, according to the latest monthly report from the Office of the State Controller, and in the next two months officials will begin to know whether the state has an income problem on its hands or whether holiday consumers have come through for the coffers.
As of November, the state's general fund was an estimated $190.1 million below target, said the report released Wednesday. In last month's report, the miss was $150 million.
The previous month, it was $61 million. Because that's out of $21 billion programmed, State Budget Director Lee Roberts has said in recent months that it's been too early in the fiscal year to declare a problem.
"It still is too early to tell," he said Wednesday, "but one of the main thrusts of the new tax structure is to heighten the importance of sales tax as a revenue source. We're in the two biggest months for sales tax – November and December. In January, we will begin to have a good feel of whether or not the sales tax numbers are picking up the slack in the way that we would like them to." He's monitoring numbers constantly, he said. Asked about Black Friday's impact, Roberts said the monthly reports are a month off, so "we should have a very good feel in next month's report."
The Controller's Office otherwise noted that general fund receipts for November were nearly $420 million, or 5.4 percent, lower than November 2013's figure, though officials have stressed that those two years are like apples and oranges because of changes in the state's tax code. (February, March and April will be the key months for income tax numbers.) Nontax revenue increased by 9.4 million, or 2.5 percent, according to Wednesday's report.