Puerto Rico Treasury: December Net Revenue Exceeded Projections
SAN JUAN – Puerto Rico Treasury Interim Secretary Francisco Parés announced Friday that net revenue to the island’s general fund totaled $858.2 million in December , reflecting a year-over-year increase of $157.5 million.
The official pointed out that December revenues were $204.3 million over projections included in the fiscal plan certified on June 29, and $92.6 million above revised projections in the plan certified on Oct. 23.
The corporate tax, the foreign corporation excise tax (Act 154), and the motor vehicle excise tax were the main revenue drivers.
Corporate income tax revenue totaled $316.7 million, an increase of approximately $108.3 million year-over-year, and $66.1 million higher than revised projections. The last estimated tax payment for 2018 was due in December for most corporations.
Corporate tax collections were the highest for the month of December since 2014, when the gross receipts tax was still in place. “The increase in this category in December is partially attributed to businesses related to the recovery in the aftermath of the 2017 hurricanes,” according to Treasury’s release.
“Each month of FY2019 [fiscal year 2019], the motor vehicle excise tax has been consistently at the highest level since the corresponding month in FY2006, that is, in 13 years,” the department wrote.
Collection of the island’s 11.5 percent sales and use tax, of which 10.5 percent goes to the general fund, totaled $225.8 million, “a $5.5 million decrease with respect to December 2017, but “a $4.5 million increase with respect to December 2016,” Treasury said, adding that “$96.8 million of total SUT collections were distributed to the General Fund.”
Treasury explained that “the publication of December revenues was delayed for reasons related” to the implementation of the second phase of the Unified Internal Revenue System (SURI by its Spanish acronym), which went into effect on Dec. 10. “Revenues include taxes collected through SURI, such as withholdings at the source, licenses and excise taxes,” the release reads.
Parés added that in the first half of fiscal 2019 (July to December), “year-to-date net revenues to the General Fund totaled [$4.4 billion], a year-over-year increase of $769.3 million, or 21.2 percent, and $896 million above original projections and $118 million above revised projections.”