The state of West Virginia will head into the second month of its fiscal year with a $17.9 million budget shortfall due to a drop in personal income tax collections during the month of July.
Deputy Revenue Secretary March Muchow said Thursday the state brought in $297.2 million in general revenue tax collections in July.
That was less than the $315 million officials had projected to collect during the month -- the first of the state's 2014 fiscal year -- and 1.3 percent less than what the state brought in during July 2012.
"The deficit was largely due to a $28.8 million shortfall in personal income tax collections," Muchow said.
The $112.2 million in personal income tax collections last month was 14.7 percent less than what was collected last July. Muchow said a combination of lower collections from payroll withholdings and larger than expected refund payments fueled the shortfall in that category.
He said personal tax refund payments for the month doubled from the $9.5 million paid out last year to nearly $19 million this year.
Last-minute changes to tax policies by lawmakers in Washington, D.C., caused delays in this year's personal income tax filing season. That caused tax collections to begin missing projections earlier this year.
Payroll tax withholding payments were also 8.4 percent less than last July. Lower than expected withholding payments could signal either a decline in personal income, or it could be due calendar effects, such as the month ending on a Wednesday instead of a Friday, when more people get paid.