Robust Revenues Fuel Strong Start to State of Maine’s New Fiscal Year

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, September 5, 2018
Contact: David Heidrich, Director of Communications
Department of Administrative and Financial Services, (207) 624-7800

Robust Revenues Fuel Strong
Start to State of Maine’s New Fiscal Year

July General Fund Revenues come in over budget by $20.8 million.

Read More: Office of the State Controller Revenue Reports

AUGUSTA – Finance Commissioner Alec Porteous announced today that the State of Maine began fiscal year 2019 with revenues over budget by $20.8 million for the month of July. Strong growth in individual income tax, corporate income tax and sales and use tax drove the monthly surplus, which was 8.3 percent greater than the forecasted projections for the month and 11.5 percent greater than revenues from the previous July.

“Maine’s strengthening economy continues to fuel robust revenue growth,” said Commissioner Porteous. “Increased withholdings on the individual income tax line signal higher wage levels, while increased sales tax receipts from restaurants, lodging and retail sales demonstrate more disposable income and a strong tourism season in our state. Historically low unemployment, increased personal income, stable energy prices and the benefits of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act continue to boost Maine’s economy.”

June taxable sales—tax revenue realized in July—increased 3.3 percent over a year ago. Tourism-related sales continue to be strong, with those tied to restaurants and lodging increasing by 6.8 percent and 7.5 percent, respectively. In addition, individual income tax revenues were up $16.6 million or 18.7 percent over a year ago. When compared to the State of Maine’s revenue forecast, individual income tax collections were over budget in July by $14.1 million or 15.5 percent.

“It appears that the summer tourism season will end on a strong note,” added Commissioner Porteous. “With the national economy growing at more than 4 percent, tourism expected to remain strong into the fall, and Maine families and businesses spending and investing at a solid rate, Maine’s economy should continue to grow over the coming months, with revenues meeting or exceeding forecasted levels for the foreseeable future.”

Preliminary figures indicate that August was another strong month for revenue collections, with final numbers expected to be released later this month.

The Department of Administrative and Financial Services provides Governor Paul R. LePage and Members of the Legislative Council, Joint Standing Committee on Appropriations and Financial Affairs and Joint Standing Committee on Taxation with a memorandum detailing the State of Maine’s revenue collections each month. The report provides key policymakers with a transparent overview of the State’s tax collections and ongoing economic outlook. It reports revenue growth in two measures: year-over-year growth and growth compared to the State of Maine’s most recent revenue forecast.

Read More: Office of the State Controller Revenue Reports

About the Revenue Forecast

The State of Maine has a two pronged approach to revenue forecasting that occurs through our independent Consensus Economic Forecasting Commission (CEFC) and the Revenue Forecasting Committee (RFC). The RFC typically meets twice a year and issues a revenue forecast that incorporates the recommendations from the CEFC. The forecast provides state government with an estimate of the tax revenues expected to be available for appropriation.

Membership of the RFC consists of the Associate Commissioner for Tax Policy, the State Budget Officer, the State Economist, an economist on the faculty of the University of Maine System selected by the chancellor, the Director of the Office of Fiscal and Program Review and another member of the Legislature's nonpartisan staff familiar with revenue estimating issues appointed by the Legislative Council.