CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia's 2013 budget likely will come up millions of dollars short when the fiscal year ends in June, thanks to downturns in three major tax collection areas.
Mark Muchow, deputy secretary of the state Department of Revenue, told members of the House Finance Committee on Thursday downturns in severance tax, personal income tax and sales tax collections would derail budget predictions "by a pretty good margin."
The Department of Revenue previously predicted it would bring in about $4.7 billion in revenue this year.
The state was $8 million short through January, Muchow said, but that shortfall could exceed the state's $43 million income tax reserve fund by the end of the fiscal year.
"It's a good possibility," Muchow said after the meeting.
A final report on February's tax collections will be released Friday morning.
Muchow said the downturn in sales tax likely was caused, at least in part, by the Jan. 1 expiration of a 2 percent payroll tax decrease that had been in place since 2010.
"When you lose two percent of your paycheck, you tend to spend a little less," he said.
Also at the finance committee meeting, delegates asked Muchow about raising revenues for state road projects by eliminating the gas tax.
Virginia lawmakers recently voted to remove state tax from gasoline sales and increase the state sales tax from five percent to 5.3 percent. The measure is meant to boost funds for road construction there.