State revenue sources struggle(December 12, 2008) Secretary of Administration Neale F. Lunderville today released General Fund revenue results for the month of November, the fifth month of Fiscal Year 2009. General Fund revenues were essentially on target for the month as compared to the recently revised consensus revenue target. The General Fund revenues of $70.59 million for the month of November 2008 were +$0.25 million or +0.35% above the $70.34 million consensus revenue forecast for the month. Cumulatively, General Fund revenues year-to-date were $455.85 million or +0.25 million (+0.05%) above the consensus revenue forecast for Fiscal Year 2009.The monthly targets reflect the most recent Fiscal Year 2009 consensus revenue forecast, which was agreed to by the Emergency Board on November 18, 2008. The state’s consensus revenue forecast is normally updated two times per year in January and July. However, with the downturn in the national and regional economy, the Emergency Board scheduled an interim review of the consensus revenue forecast for November.Each of the four major components of General Fund Revenue underperformed against the newly revised forecast. Personal Income Tax receipts are the largest single state revenue source, and are reported Net of Personal Income Tax refunds. Personal Income Tax receipts for November were $32.17 million, -$0.04 million or -0.13% below the monthly target. Cumulatively, the Personal Income Tax receipts of $234.38 were essentially on target against the $234.42 year-to-date estimate. Corporate Tax receipts are also reported net of refunds; Novembers monthly target was projected to be negative (i.e., more refunds than receipts). Corporate Income Tax revenue results for November were a negative ($1.95) million net of refunds against the expected monthly net negative target of ($1.10) million. Cumulatively, Corporate Income Tax receipts of $13.26 million were slightly below the revised target of $14.10 million. We believe that the downward trend, particularly in Corporate Income Tax receipts, will continue in the coming months. Sales & Use Tax receipts of $15.35 million were below target for the month by -$0.79 million or -4.89%. Cumulatively, Sales & Use Tax fell -0.79% below the year-to-date target of $90.55 million. Rooms & Meals Tax receipts also fell short of the revised target for the month by -$0.62 million or -5.94%. At $53.92 million, cumulative Rooms & Meals Tax results were -1.15% below the cumulative November target.The non-major components of the General Fund Revenue combined to offset the under-target performance of the four major components. Insurance, Real Property Transfer and ‘Other’ were all slightly above target, while Inheritance/Estate Tax was slightly below. The non-major tax component results for the month were: Insurance Premium, $6.95 million (+9.10%); Inheritance/Estate Tax, $0.80 million (-39.86%); Real Property Transfer Tax $0.79 million (+28.15%); and Other, $6.58 million (+71.91%). Year-to-date results for these components were: Insurance Premium, +3.89%; Inheritance/Estate Tax, -12.92%; Real Property Transfer Tax, +3.87%; and Other, +6.05%.Transportation FundSecretary Lunderville also reported on the results for the non-dedicated Transportation Fund revenue. The Transportation Fund revenues were $13.68 million, which was -$1.12 million or -7.55% below the monthly target for November. The two-day Thanksgiving holiday, coupled with the month ending that weekend, resulted in an elongated processing turn around for Transportation Fund receipts versus the normal monthly processing delay; the additional delay accounts for a good portion of the -$1.12 million monthly shortfall. Cumulatively, the Transportation Fund revenues of $84.40 million were -1.31% below the consensus revenue year-to-date forecast of $85.52 million.The Transportation Fund revenue components were all below target for the month with the exception of Gas Tax receipts, which were slightly above target for the month. Gas Tax receipts have benefited from the recent reductions in gasoline prices. The remaining components still suffer from the continuing sales decline in the automobile market. The components of the Transportation Fund revenue for the month were: Gasoline Tax, $4.95 million (+2.06%); Diesel Tax, $0.77 million (-33.11%); Motor Vehicle Purchase & Use Tax, $2.73 million (-15.30%); Motor Vehicle Fees, $4.15 million (-0.50%); and Other, $1.08 million (-22.94%). Cumulatively, the Transportation Fund revenue components for November were: Gasoline Tax, $26.36 million (+0.38%); Diesel Tax, $5.87 million (-6.12%); Motor Vehicle Purchase & Use Tax, $19.18 million (-2.50%); Motor Vehicle Fees, $25.75 million (-0.08%); and Other, $7.24 million (-4.25%).Education FundThe revenue results for the the non-Property Tax Education Fund revenues (which constitute approximately 12% of the total Education Fund receipts) released by Secretary Lunderville totaled $10.55 million for the month of November, or -$0.69 million (-6.14%) below the $11.24 million consensus revenue target for the month. Cumulatively, non-Property Tax Education Fund revenues year-to-date were $61.85 million or -$0.69 million (-1.10%) below the year-to-date consensus revenue forecast.All the components of the non-Property Tax Education revenue, except Investment Income, were below the November monthly targets: Sales & Use Tax, $7.68 million (-4.90%); Motor Vehicle Purchase & Use, $1.36 million (-15.28%); Lottery Transfer, $1.51million (-25.56%); and Investment Income $0.0006 million (+99.87%). Cumulative results were: Sales and Use Tax, $44.88 million (-0.87%); Motor Vehicle Purchase & Use, $9.59 million (-2.50%); Lottery Transfer, $7.22 million (-6.70%); and Education Fund Investment Income, $0.16 million (-155.47%).ConclusionSecretary Lunderville said that, “Vermont is certainly feeling the effects of the national economic downturn and we continue to monitor the changing economic environment very closely. At this point, our economists warn that all of our risk is on the downside – meaning that conditions will probably get worse before they get better. As we face some very difficult budget decisions in preparation for worsening fiscal conditions, it is important that we move thoughtfully and quickly. The longer we hold off on making tough decisions, the more difficult those decisions become.”Attachments: Detailed schedules of revenue results comparing the current fiscal year-to-date period with the same period from the last fiscal year follow.