South Carolina’s top economic officials said the state government brought in higher than expected tax revenue in May, but they do not plan to raise their revenue estimate just yet.
The Board of Economic Advisors has already predicted the state would raise an additional $210 million more than originally expected this year. Legislators are currently basing their 2011-12 budget on that number. On Thursday, the BEA said May brought in an additional $117 million more.
However chairman Chad Walldorf said the final number will probably drop in June as some tax credits take effect and other enforced collections are recorded differently.
In the last month, we did see a solid increase in revenue from the state perspective. There are potentially a couple items, some timing issues, that may come through in the month of June… We’ll know more when the state closes out its year in the coming weeks.
The state’s fiscal year ends in June.
The board said South Carolinians reported more earnings on their tax returns than expected. They speculated that an increase in start-ups also brought in more tax money, as individuals guessing on their company’s estimated quarterly tax returns underreported how much they would end up owing.
Fewer refunds were also given out in May than is traditionally the case. Walldorf said that may have been due to more individuals filing electronically, as any of those refunds would have been mailed out in April.
Members also noted that accommodations tax revenue was much higher than expected. In fact, it has already surpassed last year’s total of $42 million with a month to go. The current projection is about $45 million.
The BEA is a four-member board that is part of the state Budget and Control Board. It is responsible for preparing economic forecasts and making predictions on revenue expected for the state’s General Fund.