MONTPELIER – The state of Vermont again reported falling short on revenue in May as economic activity remained slow in the wake of a gubernatorial order to close most business over COVID-19.
The state saw most of its revenue sources in May perform below what the state had projected for the month in January, a shortfall the Agency of Administration directly attributes to the effects of COVID-19-related closures and the pandemic-related delaying of the deadline for filing taxes to July.
“These results are not unexpected in light of the extension of filing deadlines into July, as well as the restrictions on businesses for most of the month of May,” Vermont’s Secretary of Administration, Susanne Young, said in a statement.
According to the Agency of Administration, revenues for Vermont’s General Fund fell 15 percent short of its monthly target for May as tax deadlines were pushed off and business closures meant the revenue from rooms and meals taxes would fall significantly short of state projections.
The state reported $14 million less revenue in May for its General Fund than what was anticipated at the beginning of the year, adding to the overall $114 million shortfall in revenue the state’s General Fund has already seen this year as of May.
With rooms and meals taxes and sales and use taxes also underperforming due to the pandemic, revenues for the state’s Education Fund likewise came up short, with the state reporting as much as $8 million less than projected going into the state’s Education Fund in May.
Revenue for Vermont’s Education Fund is now $19 million short of where the state had initially projected revenues to be at by the end of May.
At $14.9 million, revenues for Vermont’s Transportation Fund likewise saw its monthly revenues fall short of the state’s initial projections for May made at the beginning of 2020.
The Vermont legislature’s Joint Fiscal Office recently projected the COVID-19 pandemic having blown a $332 million hole in Vermont’s state budgets.
While federal funds have come to Vermont through legislation like the CARES Act, federal guidelines currently forbid the use of federal COVID-19-related relief to backfill state budgets impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.