Georgia state tax collections rising in fiscal 2021

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In the first two months of fiscal 2021, Georgia saw state revenue collections exceed prior year levels despite lingering elevated unemployment rates.

Net state revenue collections in August totaled $1.89 billion, an increase of 7.7% over 2019, Gov. Brian Kemp said Thursday.

In July, revenues totaled $2.15 billion for an increase of $311.8 million or 17% from a year earlier, even though the state shifted certain tax collections that were deferred until July 15 into June to be recognized in fiscal 2020.

Year-to-date, net tax revenue collections have totaled $4.03 billion, an increase of 12.4% compared to the same period last year.

Sales and use tax collections in August were $1.08 billion, an increase of $60.1 million or 5.6% over the prior year.

Individual income tax collections, the second-largest category supporting the state general fund, were $970.3 million in August, up 10.3% over the previous year.

Corporate income tax revenues came in at $11.3 million, up 115.9%.

Motor fuel tax collections were $152.2 million in August, a drop of 2.5%. Vehicle tax and title fees came in at $30.6 million, down 15.8%.

The state has seen revenues increase despite an elevated unemployment rate due to the economic downturn spurred by COVID-19.

In July, the most recent month available, Georgia's jobless rate was 7.6%, up from the pre-pandemic low of 3.1% in February, according to the state Department of Labor. The U.S. unemployment rate was 10.2% in July.

Georgia saw revenue collections in fiscal 2020 end on a slightly negative note, most likely inhibited by rising unemployment rates of 4.6% in March, 12.6% in April, 9.4% in May, and 7.6% in June.

At June 30, net tax collections totaled $23.70 billion, for a year-over-year decrease of $92.1 million, or 0.4%.

The governor's office did not respond to a request for comment.

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