Modest growth in state revenues

In its April revenue update, the state Economic and Revenue Forecast Council announced Friday that tax collections were up $82.9 million or 4.5 percent compared with what was forecasted in February. Collections for March and April cumulatively returned $53.4 million or 1.4 percent higher than forecasted.

Although some of the modest growth can be attributed to 2024 being a leap year, which added an extra weekday in February, year over year collections of B&O, utility and tobacco products have increased. When adjusted for large one-time payments and refunds, they note a growth of 6.5 percent. Another attributing factor to the mild growth includes increases seen in the property tax collections which came in $13.9 million or 19.4 percent higher than forecasted. A modest increase was also seen in fines, fees, surcharges, and forfeitures from the Washington Court system. With almost $1 million collected, it came in 21 percent higher than expected.

Among those taxes that returned lower than forecasted were real estate excise collections, $3.4 million or 4.6 percent lower than forecasted, and other Department of Revenue revenues, which came in $10.2 million or 70.5 percent lower than forecast due largely to a correction to previous distributions.