MONTPELIER — The State of Vermont’s revenues continue to run well ahead of projections made earlier this year, according to figures recently released by the Vermont Agency of Administration.
General Fund revenues year-to-date stand at $164.4 million, or 10.1 percent above the cumulative revenue target, and have already exceed the consensus forecast for fiscal 2021 by $32 million with a month remaining in the fiscal year, the Agency of Administration said in a press release.
That means all general fund revenue received next month, from sources including personal income and corporate taxes, a portion of the meals and rooms tax, liquor, wine and beverage taxes, and property transfer taxes, will all count as surplus revenue.
“We are optimistic that the one-time appropriations in the recently enacted budget that were contingent upon anticipated surplus will be fully funded, including $11 million for brownfields remediation, $8.82 million for economic development, $40 million for housing and conservation, and $23.18 million for state technology modernization,” Secretary of Administration Susanne Young said in a prepared statement.
The Legislature and the Scott Administration had agreed that if the state realized more than a $100 million surplus, that would trigger the switch from ARPA to surplus FY 21 dollars. The surplus is already over $100 million, Commissioner of Finance and Management Adam Greshin said. With less than two weeks left in fiscal 2021, it’s very likely, barring disaster, that the state will meet that target, Greshin said.
General Fund revenue spiked in May to $192.8 million, a whopping $106.2 million over projections. But that’s owed largely to the fact that the federal and state income tax deadlines were pushed back to May. That decision was made after economists for the Scott administration and the Legislature had set revised revenue forecasts for fiscal 2021 and successive years.
The General Fund, Education Fund and Transportation Fund are the three sources of revenue that pay for Vermont’s day-to-day operations and its employees’ salaries and benefits. Certain taxes and fees are dedicated to each fund.
According to the Agency of Administration, Transportation Fund revenues for May totaled $25.12 million, or 5.34 percent more than consensus expectations for the month. The T-Fund stands at $252.7 million for the fiscal year, 2.62 percent more than projected in January.
The Education Fund collected $51.3 million, 21.5 percent more than had been projected. For the year, the Ed Fund is $26.7 million, or 4.97 percent, higher than the January projections.
In May, the state collected $7.57 million in meals and room taxes, $2.51 million more than had been projected in January. Property transfer taxes were $850,000 ahead of the January projection, at $1.89 million, and the state collected $8.28 million in motor vehicle purchase and use taxes, $1.53 million more than expected.
The 2022 fiscal year starts July 1.