State: Tax collections were up in July — but down for fiscal year 2023

The good tax news: The New Jersey Department of the Treasury reported Monday that July revenue collections for the major taxes totaled $2.839 billion, an increase of $47.3 million, or 1.7%, above last July.

The bad tax news: The total revenues of $47.242 billion for the 13 months ending in July decreased by $1.498 billion, or 3.1% lower than the same 13-month period last year, in line with current expectations.

July is effectively treated as the 13th month of the fiscal year because cash collections include revenues from both Fiscal Year 2023, which just ended, and Fiscal Year 2024, which has just begun. After the annual GASB accounting process is completed, final collections for FY2023 will be published in the Annual Comprehensive Financial Report due out in early 2024.

Other tax numbers:

  • July collections for the Gross Income Tax, which is dedicated to the Property Tax Relief Fund, totaled $1.032 billion, down by $9.3 million, or 0.9% lower than last year. Strong growth in employer withholding of $82.1 million above last July, or 8.2%, was offset primarily by a higher level of refunds and declines in the other GIT revenue components.
  • The Sales and Use Tax, the largest General Fund revenue source, reported $1.355 billion, an increase of $23 million, or 1.7%, above last July.
  • The Corporation Business Tax, which is the second largest General Fund revenue source, totaled $209.7 million for July, an increase of $30 million, or 16.7%, mainly driven by strong gains in both estimated and final payments.
  • Pass-Through Business Alternative Income Tax payments carried a negative balance of -$17.5 million for July, down $37.7 million from last year. The negative balance resulted primarily from a large batch of refunds processed in July.
  • Realty Transfer Fee revenues of $49.1 million in July were $6.3 million, or 11.4%, lower than last year, but still amounted to the highest level of receipts since November 2022. The relative improvement in collections was likely due to the seasonal increase in housing market activity, with closed sales showing higher statewide median and average prices.