BRADENTON, Fla. – For the first time in fiscal 2017, Georgia saw a year-over-year revenue decline in February.
Gov. Nathan Deal reported that collections fell by $70 million or 5.6% compared to February 2016.
From the beginning of the fiscal year on July 1, 2016 through January, the state had seen an increase in total revenue collections each month.
Deal said that February's lower results may have been influenced by an unusual event in February 2016 when collections jumped by 24.9%, a result that was believed at the time to be skewed by a security breach at the Internal Revenue Service.
The Georgia Department of Revenue has taken additional steps to protect taxpayers' information, the governor said.
"DOR has now implemented a new fraud management system and has increased scrutiny on all tax returns filed, resulting in fewer refunds issued compared to this same time last year," Deal said.
In February, the single-largest negative factor was in corporate income tax collections and refunds, a category that declined by 171.9% or $55.8 million compared to February 2016.
Individual income tax collections and refunds were down by 11.4% for $58.1 million.
Gross sales tax collections during the month totaled $812 million, for an increase of 4.6% or $35.3 million.
For the eight months of fiscal 2017, Georgia's combined net tax revenue collections totaled $14.23 billion for an increase of $498.4 million or 3.6% over the same period in 2016.