Governor Northam announces appointment of Secretary and Assistant Secretary of Finance
RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced that total General Fund revenues increased 66.2% in May, the largest increase in monthly revenues in more than 50 years. More than 85% of the growth in May can be attributed to a return to normal tax filing dates for estimated payments and a shorter extension this year for individual final payments. Governor Northam also announced the appointment of Joe Flores as Secretary of Finance and Carter Hutchinson as Assistant Secretary of Finance.
May is generally an important month for collecting revenue. In addition to regular collections of withholding taxes and sales taxes, estimated and final payments for individuals are normally due on May 1. However, last year the filing date was extended to June 1. to align with the federal deadline. To accurately assess growth, data for the entire April to June quarter will be needed.
“Virginia’s economy is coming back to life thanks to hard work following science and one of the strongest pandemic responses in the country,” Governor Northam said. “New cases of COVID-19 are at record levels, our vaccination rates are among the highest in the country and Virginians are returning to work – and these record earnings gains are the result. Our responsible governance is paying off, and we will continue on this path as we approach a new fiscal year and face major decisions on how best to use federal funding for the US bailout. We have a strong team with the right experience – Joe Flores is a highly skilled and dedicated public servant with a deep understanding of the state budget and a solid background in fiscal policy, and I am confident that our economic momentum will continue. “
Flores has served as the Northam Administration’s Assistant Secretary of Finance since January 2018, where he has helped lead initiatives such as the Medicaid expansion and led how the Commonwealth uses and distributes federal stimulus funds during the pandemic. Hutchinson has been Deputy Director of Policy for the Northam Administration since January 2018.
“We have a lot of important work ahead of us in the coming months to manage the finances of the Commonwealth as we emerge from the pandemic and rebuild our economy,” Flores said. “I am grateful to Governor Northam for this opportunity and look forward to continuing to serve alongside our strong team in the Finance Secretariat, including Assistant Secretary June Jennings and the management and staff of our agencies.”
Year-to-date, total revenue collected has grown 17.8%, above the annual growth forecast of 2.7%. Collections in June must total $ 0.3 billion to meet the Chapter 552 revenue forecast, compared to collections in June of the two years before the pandemic of about $ 2.4 billion. Payroll deduction collections rose 13.8% in May. Sales and use tax collections, reflecting April sales, rose 37.5% in May.
“It has been a tremendous honor to serve the Commonwealth and the Northam Administration, and I have every confidence that Virginia’s finances will be in good hands with Joe Flores at the helm,” said Finance Secretary Aubrey Layne. “May is an important month for unrestrained collections, with the last payments for the 2020 tax year and the estimated first payment for the 2021 tax year both due at the start of the month. Last year the filing date was extended to June 1 for both payments, and this year to May 17 for the final payment only, so that the effect on the collection schedule is no longer not clear. “
Since the beginning of the year, the recovery of withholding taxes on salaries, or 62% of the income of the General Fund, has increased by 4.4%, ahead of the annual growth forecast of 2.7%. Sales and use tax collection rose 11.1 percent year-to-date, ahead of annual growth forecast of 4.7 percent. Year-to-date, total revenue collected increased 17.8% in May, ahead of the annual forecast of 2.7% growth.
The full report is available here.
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