The Puerto Rico Treasury Department said Monday General Fund net revenue collections for July, the first month of Fiscal 2017, totaled $665.1 million, a 6.2 percent, or $38.6 million, increase compared to July 2015, and $7.4 million above estimates.
Sales and Use Tax revenues totaled $209.5 million, a $55.2 million, or 35.7 percent year-over-year increase, Treasury Secretary Juan Zaragoza said.
Main revenue categories registered upward and downward year-over-year changes for the month, attributed mainly to the effect of the changes in the tax legislation, the agency said.
The agency noted that the 10.5 percent SUT revenue collected was allocated as follows: revenues corresponding to 6.0 percent, or $119.7 million, went to the Sales Tax Financing Corp. (known as COFINA for its initials in Spanish,) and revenues corresponding to 4.5 percent, equal to $89.8 million, went to the General Fund.
July 2016 SUT revenues were $78.1 million up year-over-year, attributed to the fact that the increase in the SUT rate came into effect on July 1, 2015, Zaragoza said. Therefore, July 2015 revenues were mainly from June 2015 imports and retail sales at the 6.0 percent rate, while this year these revenues were taxed at the 10.5 percent rate.
Individual income tax registered a $28.1 million decrease, while corporate income tax increased by $2.2 million, the government official said, attributing the results to non-recurring revenues in the amount of $27 million related to the tax amnesty that ended June 30, 2015.
“In July 2015 there were some revenues from certain transaction that took place at the last hour in June and were deposited the next business day, and were therefore credited as July revenues. These revenues were mainly from individual and corporate income taxes, which explains the year-over-year differences in these categories,” he said.
Foreign excise taxes were the main revenue driver, with $256.2 million in collections, which represented 38.5 percent of all revenues for the month.
Other excise taxes showed mixed results: revenues from alcoholic beverages decreased while revenues from cigarette and motor vehicle increased. Motor vehicle excise taxes totaled $25.2 million, with $20 million transferred to the Green Energy Fund pursuant to Law. Offshore shipments of rum collections were $23.9 million. In Fiscal 2016, revenues from this category began to flow in August 2015, the agency confirmed.