Net revenues collections for the commonwealth’s General Fund totaled $670.3 million in August 2018, Puerto Rico Treasury Secretary Teresita Fuentes said.
“Revenue was up by $61.5 million, or 10.1 percent, compared to August 2017, and exceeded estimates by $110.8 million,” she said.
“The Treasury Department prepares said monthly projection by adjusting total revenues projected for the current fiscal year in the Fiscal Plan certified on June 29, 2018, including seasonal adjustments, as well as adjustments for non-recurring revenues. Actual revenues were the highest for the month of August since 2005,” Fuentes noted.
Taxes related to corporate economic activity were the main drivers leading to above-projection revenues, she said, adding that corporate income taxes registered an increase of $18.3 million, or 42.7 percent.
The non-resident withholding category, which consists mainly of royalties paid in manufacturing, registered an increase of $14.8 million, or 61.7 percent. Foreign excise taxes were up by $23.7 million, or 13.0 percent, on a year-over-year basis, as they increased from $181.8 million to $205.5 million.
August Sales and Use Tax (SUT) revenues were on par with August 2017 SUT collections, $238.7 million versus $239.5 million, including $102.3 million that went to the General Fund.
“It must be noted that the two periods are not totally comparable given the administrative changes that took place in the tax collection process. In August 2017, the revenue base was higher because it included total sales for July, and SUT bi-weekly payments (on the 15th and on the last day of the month) were first implemented that month. In contrast, this year, SUT receipts correspond, for the most part, to August sales,” Fuentes said.
The motor vehicle excise tax category continues to grow, she said, noting that receipts totaled $41.3 million, for a year-over-year increase of 34.8 percent.
“According to representatives from the automobile sector, August sales increased in several categories, such as, fleets, retail, SUVs, and pickups. They say that sales are directly associated with the island’s recovery efforts,” Fuentes said.
Lastly, the Treasury Secretary pointed out that fiscal year-to-date (July and August) General Fund net revenues totaled $1.4 billion, a year-over-year increase of $153.2 million, and $201.3 million above projections.