Revenues the state collected increased in November as two recent tax hikes went into effect.
On Dec. 15, New Jersey’s Department of the Treasury reported November revenue collections for the major taxes totaled were up 5.8% for a total of approximately $2.3 billion above November 2019.
Although November is historically one of the smaller collection months each year without any major tax payments due according to government officials, the November’s collections of an extra $124.7 million were buoyed by changes to the Gross Income Tax (GIT) and the Petroleum Products Gross Receipts Tax (PPGRT). Absent these tax changes, revenues would have declined in November.
But despite the increase, fiscal year-to-date, total collections of just below $10.4 billion are down $548.3 million, 5.0% below the same five months a year prior.
Officials at New Jersey Treasury noted while November saw a pause in the recent decline of state revenue due to tax changes, it still forecasts overall FY 2021 collections to remain weak into the Winter months followed by a return to sustainable collections growth next Spring and Summer.
November collections for the GIT, which are dedicated to the Property Tax Relief Fund, totaled $962.8 million, up $65.2 million, or 7.3 % above last November. However, year-to-date, GIT collections of $4.319 billion are down $409.3 million, or 8.7%. November’s GIT collections were boosted by the enactment of a 10.75% marginal tax rate on taxable income between $1.0 million and $5.0 million.
This change includes a temporary 21.3% withholding rate on high-income earners during the final months of 2020 to partially account for the fact that the extension of the marginal tax rate on millionaires was retroactive to January of this year.
That factor is estimated to have enhanced November’s collections by between $70 million to $100 million, and is likely to have a similar impact in December. Treasury also notes, however, that this temporary, higher withholding rate could result in refunds next year.
The Sales and Use Tax, the largest General Fund revenue source, reported collections of $836.9 million in November, an increase of $43.3 million, or 5.5%, which is the fourth consecutive month of growth for this revenue. Due to the one-month lag in the reporting of Sales Tax collections, November revenue reflects October consumer activity.
Year-to-date, Sales and Use Tax collections of $3.621 billion are up $147.0 million, or 4.2%.
CBT Up 3.3%
The Corporation Business Tax (CBT), which is the second largest General Fund revenue source, reported $111.9 million in November, up $3.6 million, or 3.3% above the same month last year. Refund payments dropped significantly below last November, pushing net CBT collections into slightly positive territory for the month.
Year-to-date through November, CBT collections of $1.091 billion are down $160.7 million, or 12.8% below the same period last year.
As of Dec. 23, the cumulative number of coronavirus cases in New Jersey reached 445,138 with 4,919 total new cases reported and 103 new deaths, bringing that total to 16,521. The state listed probable deaths at 1,945, bringing the overall total to 18,466.
For North Jersey counties, Passaic had a total of 511 new cases, Bergen 474 new cases, Hudson 422 new cases, Essex 384 new cases, Morris 271 new cases, Sussex 84 new cases and Warren 42 cases.
State officials noted 62 deaths occurred in the last 24 hours of reporting that have not yet been lab confirmed.
Of the total confirmed deaths in North Jersey, Essex County has the most with 2,111, followed by Bergen at 2,007, Hudson with 1,505, Passaic at 1,269, Morris at 767 and Sussex and Warren counties with 167 each.
In regards to probable deaths, Bergen has 260, Essex has 242, Hudson has 163, Morris at 175, Passaic at 149, Sussex has 43 and Warren has 13.
The daily rate of infections from those tested as of Dec. 19 was 13.0%; by region, the rate was 12.5% in the North, 12.5% in the Central region and 15.2% in the South. The state is no longer using serology tests as health officials explained those results show a past presence of the disease as well as a current one.
As for the rate of transmission, it decreased to 0.97 from 0.98 the day before. Officials have continually cited transmission rate and positivity rate as health data they rely on to track how the coronavirus is being contained in New Jersey, guiding them in determining when restrictions have to be tightened or lifted.
Officials reported 3,841 patients were hospitalized, with 3,612 were confirmed cases and 229 under investigation. By region, there were 1,684 in the North, 1,255 in the Central and 902 in the South.
Of those hospitalized, 765 are in intensive care units and 485 on ventilators. While 426 patients were discharged, 489 were admitted.
Essex Tops County Count
Essex has the most cumulative cases in the state with 44,669 followed by Bergen at 44,166, Middlesex at 41,673, Hudson at 40,822, Passaic at 38,270, Union at 34,897, Ocean at 29,589, Monmouth at 29,070, Camden at 26,533, Burlington at 19,213, Morris at 18,764, Mercer at 17,790, Gloucester at 13,006, Somerset at 11,752, Atlantic at 11,080, Cumberland at 7,126, Sussex at 3,960, Warren at 3,551, Hunterdon at 3,442, Salem at 2,488 and Cape May at 2,200.
Another 1,077 cases are still under investigation to determine where the person resides.
In regards to cases related to in-school transmissions, a total of 105 outbreaks involving 459 cases have been reported in 19 of the 21 counties in the Garden State, with seven new outbreaks involving 31 cases recorded in the last week. For North Jersey, Bergen County has 21 confirmed outbreaks with 99 cases, Passaic County has four confirmed outbreaks with 23 cases, Warren County has four confirmed outbreaks with nine cases, Sussex County has three confirmed outbreaks with seven cases and Hudson County has two confirmed outbreaks with 10 cases.
Long-term Care Facilities
Health officials noted 427 long-term care facilities are currently reporting at least one case of COVID-19, accounting for a total of 10,501 of the cases, broken down between 4,895 residents and 5,606 staff.
Cumulatively, 1,137 long-term care facilities reported a case infecting 29,012 residents and 18,358 staff, for a total of 47,370 cases.
The state’s official death total will now be reported as those that are lab confirmed, sits at 7,454 on Dec. 23. The facilities are reporting to the state 7,198 residents deaths and 124 staff deaths.