Tax refunds usually are paid from the state's general revenue account. But the reserve account, which now contains about $27 million, allows the state to pay tax refunds without touching its general revenue account.
A temporary hiring freeze, initiated by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin in March, as well as spending cuts by the Legislature, also will save the state $28 million by the end of the fiscal year on June 30, Muchow said.
The state has collected $3.42 billion in taxes year to date. That includes $545 million collected last month, or $34 million above estimates and $55 million above April 2012.
But while income tax collections far exceeded predictions, other major revenue streams came up short.
The state collected $42.5 million in severance taxes last month, $2.5 million less than expected. Sales tax revenue was $100.7 million in April, $2.7 million less than estimates.
With income tax season over, Muchow said he expects tax collections to fall short of estimates in May and June. However, he still expects the budget gap to disappear completely before July.
"We can afford to be another $15 million short for May and June and still be OK," he said. "We'll close the gap."
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