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Puerto Rico Treasury: October revenue is highest for month in 5 years

By on November 28, 2018

SAN JUAN – Puerto Rico Treasury Secretary Teresita Fuentes announced Wednesday that net revenues to the island’s General Fund totaled $739 million in October, the most for the month of October since 2013.

Revenues totaled $469 million in October last year, “the most affected month, with the lowest revenue the whole year, due to the effects of the passage of Hurricanes Irma and María. For this reason, October revenues this year are not totally comparable with last year’s,” Treasury’s release reads.

Based on total revenue for the fiscal year, as projected in the fiscal plan certified on June 29 by the island’s Financial Oversight and Management Board, revenue in October exceeded the projections for the month by $163.9 million.

“Monthly revenues have exceeded projections consecutively for each of the four months of the present fiscal year. Fiscal year-to-date revenues totaled $2.98 billion and were $494.7 million above projections for said period,” Treasury wrote.

On Oct. 23, the fiscal board certified a new fiscal plan with a revised projection for fiscal 2019 General Fund revenue, from $8.46 billion to $10.24 billion. The Treasury secretary said that beginning in November, her department will “assess revenue behavior by comparing net revenues for each month with the revenue projections of the Fiscal Plan Certified on June 29, 2018 and on October 23, 2018,” according to the release.

The corporate and individual income tax categories were the main revenue drivers. The motor vehicle excise tax category “continues to perform favorably as well; collections totaled $55.5 million in October 2018, the highest level for a month of October in a 15-year period.”

Sales and use tax (SUT, or IVU by its Spanish acronym) collections at the 10.5% rate totaled $229.2 million in October, a month-over-month increase of $7.2 million. SUT revenue will be distributed as follows: “$119.4 million to COFINA [Spanish acronym for Sales Tax Financing Corp.], $98.9 million to the General Fund, and $10.9 million, corresponding to the 0.5%” apportioned among municipalities.

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