CHARLESTON, W.Va. — State officials on Thursday announced a $244.3 million cash surplus through the start of the fiscal year with August revenue collections $35.8 million above estimates.
Officials also noted cash flow with the general revenue fund was more than 10 times as much at the end of last month than at the conclusion of August 2019, when cash flow was $21.9 million.
State Revenue Secretary Dave Hardy said revenue officials had two goals once the coronavirus pandemic response began in March: end the previous fiscal year without a revenue shortfall and beginning the current fiscal year strong.
“We’re two-thirds a way through that quarter, we are very, very, very pleased with the state’s revenue performance,” he said.
Hardy pointed to multiple numbers as reasons for being positive, including year-to-date collections being $80.3 million above estimates and personal income tax collections totaling $144.1 million in August.
“I remember last year at this time — it was actually this week a year ago — we were looking at possibly deciding whether we were going to make a budget cut, and actually put the idea out to our agency heads that we might have to consider a budget cut,” he said.
“That didn’t happen under the leadership of the governor. The state’s finances kept getting better and better, and we were in great shape in March before this pandemic hit.”
The Justice administration earlier this year agreed to push the deadline to file taxes to July 15 because of the pandemic. The state Senate Finance Committee issued a report on Wednesday noting how the move resulted in a revenue surplus in July.