After initially suffering a shortfall, West Virginia's general revenue fund is running a slight surplus at the midpoint of the current budget year.
According to revenue figures released by the State Budget Office Wednesday, state tax collections are running about $3.8 million ahead of expectations for the first six months of the 2013 fiscal year.
Since July 1, the state brought in $1.96 billion in various taxes and fees collected by state agencies. While slightly ahead of forecasts, that total is about 1 percent less than the amount collected by this point last year.
For the month of December, the state brought in $363 million in general revenue, about $1.8 million more than forecast and 8 percent greater than in December 2011.
December's revenue results marked the fourth straight monthly surplus for the general revenue fund.
The fund had logged a $16.5 million shortfall during July and August - prompting fears that officials might have to enact mid-year budget cuts - but the revenue turnaround since then has erased those concerns.
Deputy Revenue Secretary Mark Muchow said gains in both personal income tax and corporate net income tax collections helped boost revenues in December.
For the month, the state collected $152.6 million in personal income tax, about $10.7 million more than the $141.9 million officials had forecast.
But Muchow said the increase might have been caused by several one-time factors.
One of those may have been a result of the so-called fiscal cliff, a $600 billion combination of tax increases and spending cuts that were averted by Congress this week.
Muchow said in November some taxpayers anticipating higher rates in 2013 might find ways to book some unrealized income in 2012. The December tax data appeared to support that notion.
"Year-end bonuses, severance pay and possible reactions to the fiscal cliff all likely contributed to a 9.2 percent rise in total December personal income tax receipts," Muchow said.
"After rising by an average annual rate of just 1 percent during the first five months of the year, wage and salary withholding tax collections surged by 14.7 percent in December," he said.
Since July 1, the state has collected $808.2 million in personal income taxes, about $14.7 million more than estimates and 3.9 percent greater than last year's collections.
Corporate income tax collections over the last six months are also up 25 percent compared to 2011, Muchow said.
The state has collected $126.4 million in corporate income and business franchise tax revenue over the last six months, about $15.4 million more than estimates.
Muchow said most of the increase in corporate taxes is due to a reduction in the amount of tax refunds paid by the state.