Nebraska revenue picture looking up after first-quarter tax collections are higher than expected

Nebraska revenue picture looking up after first-quarter tax collections are higher than expected
Tony Fulton

LINCOLN — Nebraska’s financial picture has brightened considerably during the first quarter of the new fiscal year, according to a new state report.

The Nebraska Department of Revenue released figures Monday showing that the state collected $63.3 million more tax revenue than expected from July 1 through Sept. 30.

Net receipts for the three months were up 5.5 percent for the period. Last month alone, the state collected $45 million — or 9.9 percent — more than had been projected.

“Any way you look at it, it was a pretty strong September,” said Tony Fulton, the state tax commissioner. “I would say we should be cautiously optimistic about our near-term economic results.”

Fulton credited the federal tax cuts with driving up the tax receipts. Wage growth has been especially strong in Nebraska because of the cuts, he said.

He pointed out that net individual income tax collections for the first three months of this fiscal year were 10.7 percent higher than in the first three months of last year.

“That’s a really big number,” Fulton said.

But he warned that depressed corn and soybean prices still could produce a drag on the economy and on future tax revenues.

The new trade agreement reached with Canada and Mexico helped some with prices but trade battles with China and other nations are having an effect, he said.

Individual income taxes accounted for most of the higher-than-expected tax receipts. Net individual income taxes were $42.6 million above projections for the quarter and $22 million above projections for September.

But corporate income taxes were stronger from a percentage standpoint. Net corporate income taxes were 21 percent above projections for the quarter and 37.5 percent higher for September.

In dollars, the net corporate income tax was $15.2 million above projections for the quarter and $18.8 million for September.

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