TRENTON – State tax revenues increased by nearly 17% compared to a year earlier in the period that makes up the 2021 fiscal year, the Department of the Treasury said Friday.

Total revenues for 13 months ending in July were $40.8 billion, up $5.9 billion from the same 13-month period one year prior. That was in line with the latest expectations, which had been revised upward.

Cash collected each July includes revenues from both the prior fiscal year that ended June 30 and the fiscal year that is just getting underway. The accounting allocations take some time and will be published in early 2022, in the annual Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.

Revenues in July were almost $2.5 billion – which was less than half the level one year earlier, a drop of more than $2.6 billion. Income taxes were down 74% and corporate taxes down 70%.

The Treasury Department says that’s to be expected because last year the tax filing deadline for individuals and corporations was extended from April 15 to July 15 due to the pandemic. That drove collections last July to unusual levels.

Sales tax collections totaled $1.2 billion. That was 24% above last July’s payments, which were skewed by pandemic-related economic restrictions. But the state said receipts were also more than 19% above their 2019 level.

Motor fuels taxes over the 13 months were down 1.2% from the same period a year earlier, while the petroleum products gross receipts tax was up 21% year-over-year.

New Jersey’s gas tax includes two components – the 10.5 cent per gallon motor fuels tax applied at the retail level and a petroleum products gross receipts tax applied at the wholesale level that can be raised or lowered each year to ensure the state hits its revenue target.

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A decision on whether the gas tax will be adjusted effective Oct. 1 should be announced by Aug. 31. Last fall, the PPGR tax was hiked 9.3 cents, or 30%, from 30.9 cents to 40.2 cents on a gallon of gasoline. The combined gas tax is currently 50.7 cents on a gallon of gas.

Michael Symons is State House bureau chief for New Jersey 101.5. Contact him at michael.symons@townsquaremedia.com.

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