Georgia’s state Capitol

Georgia tax collections up in February for first time in four months

Georgia tax collections were up in February for the first time in four months, but they remain below what the state needs to meet its fiscal 2019 budget.

Overall collections were up 5.5 percent from February 2018, with the income tax take down again — this time by 1.5 percent — and sales taxes up 4.1 percent.

Most of the revenue the state collects to fund schools, public safety and health care programs comes from sales and income taxes. Collections of those two taxes are generally seen as an indicator of the state of the economy as well, absent any moves to lower or increase rates.

For the state fiscal year — which ends June 30 — collections are up slightly at 1.8 percent. They will need to pick up in the final four months of the fiscal year for the state to be on target to meet its $27 billion budget.

Officials with Gov. Brian Kemp’s administration expect that to happen. But even if they don’t, Kemp has a cushion since his predecessor, Nathan Deal, left office in January after building state reserves to $2.5 billion.

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