Deputy Revenue Secretary Mark Muchow talks March tax collections with lawmakers

By Matthew Young, RealWV

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – “March was a very good month. We collected $487.4 million. The estimate was $392.6 million, so we ended up almost $94.9 million above estimate.”

That’s what West Virginia’s Deputy Secretary of Revenue Mark Muchow told members of the Joint Committee on Government and Finance Sunday, during the first day of April’s Interim Legislative Session. Muchow appeared before the committee to provide an update on the state’s General Revenue and General Road Fund March collections. 

“I’ll start with the General Revenue Fund,” Muchow said. “Compared to last year, we were down only 5.9%, so that would be one of our better months for the year.”

“The revenues for this year incorporate the 21.25% reduction in personal income tax,” Muchow continued. “And the severance tax revenues which were very high last year have come back down to a more normal type level.”

According to Muchow, the state has collected $4.068 billion in general revenue thus far year-to-date, which is $522.9 million above the projected estimate of $3.054 billion. However, despite being more than half-a-billion-dollars above estimate, general revenue is down 11.8% over last year. 

The total sales tax collected in March, Muchow added, was $147.2 million. Year-to-date sales tax collected is $1.315 billion. Personal income tax collected in March totaled $198.3 million, bringing the year-to-date total to $$1.635 billion. And March’s severance tax collections totaled $48.2 million, bringing the year-to-date number to $247.5 million.

With regard to the General Road Fund, Muchow stated that because “the revenue estimates have been updated two different times,” he would primarily be focusing on the year-over year comparison between this year and last year.

“In March, the overall collections – including federal reimbursement – were $129.1 million,” Muchow said. “The estimate was $171 million, so it’s technically $42 million below estimate, but that’s because of a huge revision upward by the DOT (Department of Transportation) and their estimate of federal funds received.”

Muchow further stated that federal funds received by the state in March totaled only $45.5 million, which is down considerably from the $62.2 million received last year. However, year-to-date, West Virginia DOT has received $nearly $577 million, representing an increase of 19.4% over last year.

“We’re still on pace for a record year for federal reimbursement,” Muchow noted. 

The March motor fuel tax collections, Muchow said, were $28.8 million. Registration fees collected in March total $11.9 million. And March collections for motor vehicle sales tax were $23.6 million. All three categories were down double-digits with regard to March collections. 

“For miscellaneous (taxes), year-to-date, we’ve collected $229.4 million, versus $167.5 million last year,” Muchow added. “The biggest item there for both years is a $150 million appropriation from the legislature.”

The Joint Committee on Government and Finance will meet again during next month’s Interim Legislative Session, scheduled for May 19 through 21. RealWV will provide updates from the committee as additional information becomes available. 


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