General Fund Revenue Collections Increase 8.1% and $553.3 Million Ahead of Forecast
Virginia State Employees and Educators can Expect a Pay Raise
Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that preliminary figures indicate that the state concluded fiscal year 2015 with an approximately $553.3 million surplus from general fund revenue collections, excluding transfers. This represents the largest fiscal year-end surplus in the Commonwealth’s history, exceeding the $544.6 million surplus in fiscal year 2005.
The Governor also announced that Virginia’s revenue picture has satisfied criteria in the state budget to allow for a pay increase for state employees across the Commonwealth.
“Virginia’s significant revenue growth and preliminary year-end revenue surplus are a clear indication that our efforts to grow and diversify our economy are paying off,” said Governor McAuliffe. “While we still have more work to do to shield our economy from sequestration and federal cuts, there is no question that we are headed in the right direction. I want to thank the bipartisan leaders in the General Assembly who worked with my team earlier this year to close a major revenue shortfall, get state employees a much-deserved raise and lay a foundation for future growth. I look forward to working with my colleagues to build on this momentum and lay a foundation for a new Virginia economy.”
Preliminary calculations indicate that total revenue collections rose by 8.1 percent in fiscal year 2015, ahead of the revenue forecast of 4.7 percent growth. The main drivers of the revenue increase were growth in individual income tax receipts from non-withholding payments, payroll withholding, and lower-than-expected individual income tax refunds.
The Governor will present the final fiscal year 2015 surplus tally, including transfers, to the General Assembly Joint Money Committee meeting on August 27, 2015.
Full-time, classified state employees, faculty at public higher education institutions, judges and justices of the Judicial Department, state-supported locally elected Constitutional officers and their full time staffs, such as deputy sheriffs, local health departments and social services offices, full-time community services boards’ staff and other eligible state-supported employees will receive the 2 percent raise. Additionally, local school divisions will receive funding to provide the state share of a 1.5 percent pay increase for all public school positions required by the Standards of Quality. The pay increases for state employees will be reflected in state employees’ September 1, 2015 paychecks.
By Virginia law, the Revenue Stabilization Fund and the Virginia Water Quality Fund will claim approximately $533 million or 96 percent of the total revenue surplus before any other allocations are made.
Governor McAuliffe added, “These budget numbers are clearly good news, but I intend to maintain a conservative approach as my team and I formulate our next state budget. I look forward to introducing a budget that maintains our Commonwealth’s fiscal stability while making smart investments in education, workforce development, transportation and health care that will be the foundation for a new Virginia economy.