The “July surprise” boost to revenue has state revenue for the current fiscal year far ahead of schedule, while last fiscal year ended with a $1.1 billion shortfall.
From the June 2020 General Fund monthly report, we see that last fiscal year (which ended June 30) ended with total revenue collections of $23.9 billion, compared to the budgeted $25 billion. Moreover, revenue was down roughly $900 million from the previous year.
For the current fiscal year through August (which began July 1), revenues are up by more than $1.2 billion over last year at this time. The boost is largely due to the “July surprise,” in which tax filing day was moved to July from April which pushed the end of year payments into the new fiscal year. Indeed, a look at July’s report shows that tax revenue for this July were nearly $1.2 billion more than the previous July.
Interestingly, tax revenue for August of 2020 was about $80 million higher than August of 2019, a sign of economic recovery as North Carolina’s economy gradually re-opens and regains its footing.