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Kiss: November a 'very good month' for tax collections

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By Shauna Johnson  
WV MetroNews  

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – November was a “very good month” for tax collections in West Virginia, according to state Revenue Secretary Bob Kiss.

Overall, tax officials said collections were more than $30 million ahead of estimates for November or 11 percent better than projections. Compared with Nov. 2013, revenue collections were up by almost 15 percent.

“Obviously, we’ve still got seven months left, so we’ve got long ways to go,” Kiss said on Tuesday.

“Right now, it’s going to be critical to see how December turns out before we can really start making any longer term expressions of what, if anything, needs to be done.”

Both personal income tax and sales tax collections, two of the state’s major sources of revenues, were ahead of estimates for Nov. as were severance tax collections.

It was not immediately clear, though, if the upswing was a matter of timing or of economic improvement.

“We need to see December’s numbers to know how much of it was timing,” admitted Kiss. “We’re hopeful. If we get some good numbers in December, things will start looking better.”

Mark Muchow, deputy revenue secretary, said he does have some concerns about future energy prices.

“If energy prices stay stable, we’ll be okay, but if we have any downshift of any size in energy prices, I think that will be a detraction from overall numbers,” Muchow said.