Georgia tax collections rose 4.5 percent in just-completed fiscal 2017

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Georgia tax collections rose 4.5 percent in just-completed fiscal 2017

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Gov. Nathan Deal reported Tuesday that state tax collections were up 4.5 percent in fiscal 2017, which ended June 30. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

State sales and income tax collections had another strong month in June, a good sign for Georgia’s economy.

Sales tax collections were up 6.9 percent in June and the income tax take was 3.1 percent ahead of what it was in June 2016.

Overall collections, including fuel and liquor taxes, were up about 2.6 percent for the month.

The fiscal year ended June 30, and the final tally for fiscal 2017 showed about a $930 million increase in tax collections over the previous year. The 4.5 percent increase was more than enough to fund the state’s $24 billion budget, so there should be another surplus for the year.

That would be good news for Gov. Nathan Deal, who vowed to leave his successor at least a $2 billion rainy day reserve when he leaves office in 2019. The governor met that last summer, and he has now reset his goal to $2.5 billion. That amounts to about what it would take to run the state for almost a month.

Big reserves also are important in helping the state keep its AAA bond rating, which allows the government to borrow money at low interest rates. That saves the state millions of dollars a year in interest payments.

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