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Maine tax collection over budget in May

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(The Center Square) – Maine’s tax collections came in over budget in May, according to the Department of Administrative and Financial Services figures.

The Pine Tree State had a 19.3% increase in general fund revenues for the month and was $64.5 million over budget, Commissioner Kirsten Figueroa said in a letter to Democratic Gov. Janet Mills. For the fiscal year, Maine is over budget by 1.4%, a total of $64 million.

According to the letter, Maine’s revenues for the first 11 months of the fiscal year are $29 million higher than last year, which is a 0.6% increase. Growth was set at 1.1% as revenue sharing was adjusted to 5% from 4.5% in a year-over-year analysis.

According to the letter, the state brought in $38.2 million over budget in income tax receipts in May, representing more than half of the monthly year-to-date variances within the budget. Refunds were cited as the cause of the monthly variance, which stood at $28.4 million under budget.

However, in her report, Figueroa said the department expects the variance within May’s numbers “is just a timing issue that will be offset in June.”

Figueroa said June refunds, not an exact known figure, are expected to offset the variance in numbers experienced in May. Other components of individual income taxes show a $9.8 million net variance.

According to the letter, sales and tax revenues in May came in at $2.1 million, or 1.3% higher, over budget and $3.5 million higher than last May. In May, sales and use tax revenues came in over budget by $2.1 million and stood at $3.5 million higher than last May. However, taxable sales decreased by 0.4% from April 2022.

According to the letter, taxable goods at a rate of 5.5% were down 1.3% from last year, one of the weakest months since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For May, lodging sales taxed at 9% saw a 6.1% increase, and associated sales taxed at 8% for prepared foods rose 4.5% over April 2022, according to the letter. Additionally, the auto/transportation sector saw a 1.6% decrease in revenue as auto dealership sales since April 2022 have experienced a 1% drop.

In sales and use tax, revenue exceeded the budget for the month and fiscal year by $2.1 million. For the fiscal year, revenue through May totaled $119.3 million, or 6.4% more than last year’s collections during the same 11-month period.

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