Gov. Justice announces September revenue comes in at $20 million surplus

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CHARLESTON, WV (WVNS) — Governor Jim Justice announced September revenue collections resulted in a $20 million surplus, which was 5.4% above prior year receipts.

The month of September also marks the end of the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2020. As a whole, Quarter 1 in Fiscal Year 2020 came in $29.8 million under revenue estimates.

September General Revenue Fund collections of more than $477.2 million were more than $20 million above estimate and 5.4% ahead of prior year receipts. Year-to-date collections of more than $1.098 billion were $29.8 million below estimate and 1.8% below prior year receipts.

The cumulative shortfall was due to a significant slump in energy prices, particularly for natural gas and slower-than-anticipated growth in income withholding tax revenues, partially due to a work stoppage involving interstate gas pipeline projects. Coal sales have also recently slowed due to a global economic slowdown, with lower steel demand and lower steam coal sales.

Governor Jim Justice released a statement about the revenue collections:

“More than anything, what this shows is that we always need to remember that we have to live within our means. Last year, we set an all-time record for the greatest one-year revenue growth in the history of our state. Our estimates kept getting revised upward and upward: four times. Naturally, we were bound for a dip eventually. We saw our numbers turn around for the good again here in September. But, if nothing else, our first quarter this year shows that we have to continue to err on the side of caution and remember we still have work to do and more people to help. And that’s exactly what we’re going to do.”

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