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Christmas boosts January revenues

POSTED: February 17, 2014 4:57 p.m.

Strong Christmas sales reported to the state in January helped total revenues to reach the highest total since 2007, some $1.805 billion, the fourth-largest month in state history.

Gross sales taxes totaled $945.1 million, local and state combined, with net state revenues of $498.7 million. When combined with title tag fees to reflect new and used car sales, the total percentage gain for the month is 6.6 percent.

Individual income taxes also fared pretty well, coming in at 4.4 percent on revenues of $1.069 billion, gaining $44.9 million for the month. Individual withholding taxes were up 5.6 percent, and refunds were down $10.7 million or -36.8 percent.

Motor fuel taxes were up a combined 8.7 percent, while corporate taxes were down $6.8 million. Tobacco and alcoholic beverages tax revenues were both up 16.1 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively.

As alluded to earlier, tag/title fees were up $56.7 million for the month. That category gain continued to represent the majority of revenue gains for the year.

Year to date, state revenues are up $518.4 million or 5 percent, and the state is meeting its budget easily. Individual income taxes are up $170.6 million or 3 percent YTD. Net sales taxes are negative 5.9 percent, but when combined with tag/title fees, show a positive growth of 7.1 percent YTD.

Motor fuel tax revenues are up 6.1 percent YTD, or $34.8 million.Corporate taxes are up 26.3 percent, or $84.9 million YTD. Tobacco and alcoholic beverages are both positive YTD at 8.3 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively.

Overall, state revenues continue to show growth, but overall, numbers look better than some of the individual categories, like individual income taxes.

Bills passed in the Senate and onto the House
SB 290 - Allows probate courts to hear appeals of dangerous dog confiscations if there is no animal control or health board and reduces the time to contest confiscation of dangerous dogs and retrieve dogs from shelter. Also allows non-surgical sterilizations of dangerous dogs in shelters. Passed by substitute 50-3.

SB 294 - Provides that a person licensed may perform low-voltage contracting without obtaining a statewide low-voltage contractor class license. Passed unanimously.

SB 301 - Disallows any prohibition of wood construction programs in public schools as long as such programs meet the minimum standard requirements. Passed Senate 39-13.

SB 305 - Requires building code inspectors to provide written notifications of non-compliance and an opportunity to remedy deficiencies before issuing stop-work orders of denying permits or certificates of occupancy or completion. Passed Senate unanimously.

SB 322 - Removes the exemption for poisonous snakes from habitat protection requirements. Passed Senate unanimously.

SB 329 - Expands the Youth Apprenticeship Program to a “work-based learning program” with the goal of increasing the number of students and employers in the programs.

SB 336 - Provides that fines imposed by the State Board of Cosmetology for certain violations must not exceed $25 for first offense, $75.for the second and $300 for subsequent offenses.

SB 337 - Provides that fines imposed by the State Board of Barbers for certain violation must not exceed $25 for first minor offense, $75 for the second and $300 for subsequent offenses.

The House and Senate agreed to an adjournment resolution that will conclude the 2014 session March 20.

If you would like additional information regarding a specific piece of legislation, you may access the Georgia General Assembly Web site at http://www.legis.ga.gov/

I may be reached at
234 State Capitol, Atlanta, GA 30334
(404) 656-5038 (phone)
(404) 657-7092 (fax)
E-mail at Jack.Hill@senate.ga.gov
Or call toll-free at
1-800-367-3334 day or night
Reidsville office: (912) 557-3811

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