CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- For the second month in a row, timing issues made state tax collections for December look worse than they actually were, state Revenue Department officials said Thursday.
Overall, the state collected $361.49 million in taxes for the month, coming in $24.1 million below projections.
However, because of the New Year's holiday, more than $15 million of taxes due on Dec. 31 were posted on Thursday, deputy Revenue secretary Mark Muchow said.
That included about $10 million of severance taxes and more than $2 million in personal income tax payments.
In November, state offices were closed for the last three days of the month, causing severance tax collections to come up $14.3 million short on paper. However, about $28 million of severance taxes were posted on Dec. 2 and 3.
For December, severance taxes came in at $51.6 million, $4.8 million above estimates, not counting the $10 million posted Thursday.
Revenue Secretary Bob Kiss said it's important not to read too much into monthly revenue collections.
"What really matters is what the financial numbers are on June 30," Kiss said Thursday, referring to the last day of the fiscal year.
"The only number that matters at the end of the day is the June 30th number," he added.
While December collections fell below estimates, Muchow said that was a factor of those estimates assuming a stronger economic upturn than has occurred to this point.
December tax collections fell just $1.5 million short of December 2012 collections of $363 million, and with the $15 million posted in January, would have exceeded that amount.