West Virginia's general revenue collections for December 2021 came in at $506.8 million—a "staggering" $124.4 million above estimates and 32.6 percent ahead of prior year receipts, according to the office of Gov. Jim Justice.
This revenue growth rate was the highest on record for December in West Virginia since at least the 1970s.
“We really have the economic engine of this state humming in a way that it hasn’t for a long, long time,” Justice said during a morning press conference.
“Month after month, we are setting record after record with our revenue collections. It’s flat-out outstanding. The people of West Virginia should be incredibly proud of what we’ve done, and I truly believe that we are only just getting started. There’s more and more goodness to come.”
Now halfway through fiscal year 2022, year-to-date collections of nearly $2.518 billion are $393.9 million above the year-to-date estimate.
Personal income tax collections were $26.8 million above monthly estimate and 13.9 percent ahead of the prior year.
Year-to-date collections were $117.4 million above estimate, and adjusted year-to-date collections (after the removal of prior year deferred collections) were 10.4 percent ahead of last year.
Corporate net income tax collections were $51.1 million above monthly estimate and nearly 96 percent ahead of the prior year. Year-to-date corporate net income tax collections were $94.7 million above estimate and 67.8 percent ahead of prior year adjusted receipts (after removal of prior year deferred collections).
Consumer sales tax receipts were $20.1 million above monthly estimate and 18.1 percent ahead of the prior year. Year-to-date collections were $65.4 million above estimate and 9.0 percent ahead of the prior year.
Monthly severance tax collections totaled nearly $62.6 million. Collections were nearly $30.4 million above estimate and 300% ahead of last year. Year-to-date cumulative general revenue fund severance tax collections were $116.8 million above estimate and $184.4 million ahead of the prior year. Year-to-date severance tax collections for all funds were 168 percent ahead of last year.
Energy prices remain highly elevated even after some moderation in the past month.
West Virginia continues to enjoy an unprecedented era of success and prosperity, according to the governor's office.
After inheriting a $500 million budget deficit, Justice led the state to a string of consistent budget surpluses, his office reporter, "by using his lifelong experience as a businessman to make West Virginia a more business-friendly state and by standing behind the energy industry."
West Virginia has broken the all-time record for the lowest unemployment rate in state history in back-to-back months. In October, the state also cracked the top 10 states in the nation for quarterly gross domestic product growth.