Blog Posts > Reporter’s Notebook: Breaking Down State Budget Into Simple Math
December 7, 2020

Reporter’s Notebook: Breaking Down State Budget Into Simple Math

Wheeling News-Register, Parkersburg News and Sentinel – It’s the job of a reporter to explain why things are happening, but sometimes in our effort to simplify something we lose a bit in the explaining. Read the full article.

Take the state budget, for example. West Virginia released the November General Revenue Fund tax collections, which once again came in above projections.

As I reported last week, the state brought in $342.5 million for November, which was 6.22 percent above projections for the month set by the Department of Revenue. That gave the state a $20.1 million surplus for the month.

For the first five months of fiscal year 2021, West Virginia collected $1.937 billion in tax revenue, giving the state a $131.7 million surplus — 7.29 percent above estimates. There hasn’t been a month during the fiscal year that hasn’t had a budget surplus.

This has all occurred during the bulk of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is part of the reason why some find the revenue numbers hard to believe. They attribute much of the surplus to federal COVID-19 stimulus padding the numbers. They predict that once those dollars dry up, we could start seeing revenue numbers below projections.

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