SPRINGFIELD — Illinois tax revenue for the just-completed fiscal year beat projections made both a year ago and in May, the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability said today.
Revenue collections beat last year's general funds total by $654 million, or 1.8 percent. Total general funds revenue was $36.71 billion, up from $36 billion in fiscal year 2013.
The growth came despite a year-to-year cut of about $251 million in federal funds.
While corporate tax receipts for the year were down 1.1 percent and personal income tax revenue was up only four-tenths of a percent for the year, sales tax revenue grew by 4.4 percent. Much of that is believed to be because of growth in vehicle sales. In May, for example, new car and truck registrations statewide were up 14 percent, and had grown by nearly 17 percent for the year to that point.
Overall, said COGFA's revenue manager, it was a good year for revenue collection, especially when considering the unexpected revenue surge that occurred in April of fiscal year 2013. Even though fiscal year 2014 had only moderate growth, it beat the previous year.
"While the final tally for the fiscal year shows gains of only $654 million or 1.8 percent," wrote revenue manager Jim Muschinske, "that really doesn't paint an accurate picture of the fiscal year's success. Sales taxes performed well the entire year, and although the net changes in both personal and corporate income taxes were on the surface minor — those growth rates mask the impact of last year's April surprise which had the affect of dramatically inflating one-time revenues in FY 2013.
"Given that perspective, and adding that the fiscal year finished $1.272 billion higher than originally budgeted, it's clear that revenues performed very well in FY 2014."
The $36.71 billion collected for the year ending June 30 is nearly $10 billion more than the amount collected in fiscal year 2010. In that year, at the low point of the recent recession, $27 billion in state tax revenue was collected.
Since that time, however, legislators enacted a 67 percent increase in the state income tax. That is set to expire on Dec. 31.
Ten years ago, in fiscal year 2004, general fund revenue was $25.5 billion.