State tax collections rise
$27 million from July 2003

State tax collections in July rose about $27 million above the same period last year principally because of higher revenue from individual income taxes, the state Department of Taxation says.

The 11.8 percent increase in revenue in July compared with July 2003 came despite a $15 million decline in general excise and use tax collections, tax officials said.

They attributed the decline to the so-called weekend effect. July 31 fell on Saturday, so taxes normally due that day will be included in August's collections.

Tax Director Kurt Kawafuchi said in a news release that individual income tax revenues increased $25.5 million over the year before because of lower tax refunds. He said the refunds were processed earlier than in the previous year.

Taxes withheld on wages continued to grow last month, which is consistent with other economic data showing economic growth and strong employment, Kawafuchi said.

The increased tax collections in July to start the 2005 fiscal year come after the state ended the 2004 fiscal year on June 30 with $3.44 billion in tax revenue -- an increase of 8.3 percent from the previous fiscal year and well ahead of the 5.2 percent revenue growth forecast by the state Council on Revenues.

Star-Bulletin reporter Nelson Daranciang and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

State Tax Department



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