CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A boost in corporate tax collections and a rebound in severance taxes helped deliver a $3.8 million surplus for the state's general revenue fund in October.
The surplus helped to bring state revenue collections virtually in line with expectations for this point in the fiscal year.
The state brought in $345.9 million in general tax collections during the month, according to data from the State Budget Office. That was about 1 percent more than the $342 million revenue officials were expecting for October.
The better-than-expected collections helped offset a $4.6 million revenue deficit that had accumulated over the first quarter of the state's fiscal year. Revenue collections since July 1 are now running just $825,000 behind estimates.
Deputy Revenue Secretary Mark Muchow said improvements in corporate and severance tax collections helped drive the October surplus.
The $14 million in corporate income and business franchise taxes collected last month was twice the amount collected in October 2011.
Muchow said the doubling of corporate tax receipts was due in part to the fact that the state paid out less in tax refunds last month. The $1.5 million in October refund payments was more than $4 million less than the $5.7 million paid out during October of last year.
Still, corporate revenues appear to be faring better this year than last. Since July 1, business tax collections are running 21 percent ahead of expectations.
"Cumulative collections for this volatile revenue source are nearly $13.9 million ahead of estimate and 0.4 percent ahead of prior year receipts," Muchow said.
October was also the first month of the fiscal year for severance tax collections to beat expectations. The $54.1 million in severance taxes collected in October was $7 million ahead of the $47 million forecast.