Vermont’s September Revenue Figures – General Fund, Transportation Fund and Education Fund – Exceed Target for the MonthMontpelier, VT (October 10, 2008) – Secretary of Administration Neale F. Lunderville has released General Fund revenue results for themonth of September, the third month of Fiscal Year 2009. General Fund revenues totaled $127.44million for September 2008, +$13.84 million or +12.19% above the $113.60 million consensusrevenue forecast for the month. Cumulatively, General Fund revenues year to date were $294.03million or +12.97 million (+4.61%) above the consensus revenue forecast for Fiscal Year 2009.However, there are certain factors that impact the availability of this apparent above target result.It is important to note that the September revenue includes a legal settlement of $6.03 million. At thetime the consensus revenue forecast was approved in July 2008, the outcome of the legal action wasunknown. Consequently, no amount was included in the consensus forecast for the potentialsettlement; however, an estimated $5.57 million was anticipated and already earmarked for use. Ofthe $6.03 million, $2.3 million has been transferred to Teachers’ Retirement and the remaining $3.73million was included in the August 2008 General Fund Rescission, reducing the appropriationreductions necessary to balance the FY 2009 budget. This means that only $0.46 million of thesettlement is in excess of what was anticipated, not the entire $6.03 million.Without the portion of the settlement that was anticipated, General Fund revenue results for themonth of September were +$8.28 million or +7.29% above the $113.60 million consensus revenueforecast for the month. Cumulatively, adjusted General Fund revenues year to date were +$7.40 million (+2.63%) above the consensus revenue forecast for Fiscal Year 2009. However, giventhe instability in the national economy, we do not expect revenues to exceed targets for theremainder of the fiscal year.The monthly targets reflect the most recent Fiscal Year 2009 consensus revenue forecast that wasagreed to by the Emergency Board on July 29, 2008. The state’s consensus revenue forecast isnormally updated two times per year in January and July. However, with the downturn in thenational economy, the Emergency Board has scheduled an interim review of the consensus revenueforecast for November 18, 2008.Personal Income Tax receipts are the largest single state revenue source, and are reported Net ofPersonal Income Tax refunds. Personal Income Tax receipts for September were $67.33 million,+$4.50 million or +7.16% above the monthly target. Corporate Income tax receipts for Septemberwere $12.28 million, +$1.18 million or +10.65% above the target for the month. Both the PersonalIncome Tax and Corporate Income Tax receipts were significantly above target in the category ofestimated income tax payments. For those individual and corporate tax payers required to payestimated tax payments in lieu of withholding tax, those payments are generally paid at a minimumof 90% of their prior year tax amount. In light of national economic turbulence, it is veryprobable that a significant portion of these estimated payments will need to be refunded whenthe 2008 tax returns are filed. In other words, we do not believe that the elevated revenues seenin September will continue in future months.Sales & Use Tax and Rooms & Meals Tax were both above target for the month. Sales and Use Taxwas +$0.51 million (+2.95%) above the target for September of $17.30 million, while Rooms &Meals was +$0.71 million (+6.00%) above the monthly target of $11.82 million. The remaining taxcomponent results for the month were: Insurance Premium, $2.14 million (+85.72%);Inheritance/Estate Tax, $0.17 million (-88.00%); Real Property Transfer Tax $0.99 million(+1.53%); and Other, $14.19 million (+103.58%). Included in the Other category was $6.03 millionin Bank Franchise tax – the settlement dollars referred to earlier in this press release. Year to dateresults for these components were: Insurance Premium, $8.17 million (+2.97%); Inheritance/EstateTax, $1.82 million (-53.24%); Real Property Transfer Tax $3.06 million (+0.07%); and Other,$27.68 million (+48.86%), inclusive of the $6.03 million settlement.Transportation FundSecretary Lunderville also reported on the results for the non-dedicated Transportation Fund revenue.Transportation Fund revenue was $19.07 million, which was +$0.22 million, or +1.18%, above themonthly target for September. Cumulatively, Transportation Fund revenues year to date of $53.38million were -$1.71 million or -3.11% below the consensus revenue forecast for Fiscal Year 2009.For the month of September, Gasoline Tax revenue was slightly above target; actual revenues fromthe Gasoline Tax were +$0.32 million (+5.66%) above the consensus revenue estimate of $5.65million. The Other Fees of $1.87 was also above the target by +$0.38 (+25.20%). The Diesel Tax,Motor Vehicle Purchase & Use Tax, and Motor Vehicle Fees were all below their monthly targets;Diesel Tax, $1.28 million or -5.44% below the monthly target; Motor Vehicle Purchase & Use Tax,$4.69 million or -5.67% below the monthly target; and Motor Vehicle Fees, $5.27 million or -2.20%below the monthly target.Education FundSecretary Lunderville released revenue results for the “the non-Property Tax” Education Fundrevenues (which constitute approximately 12% of the total Education Fund receipts). The EducationFund receipts totaled $13.27 million for the month of September, or $0.18 million (+1.35%) abovethe $13.09 million consensus revenue target for the month. Cumulatively, Education Fund revenuesyear to date were $37.82 million or -$1.05 million (-2.70%) below the consensus revenue forecast forFiscal Year 2009.The portion of the Education Fund derived from the Motor Vehicle Purchase & Use Tax was belowexpectations for the month of September, as was the Lottery Transfer. The Education Fund portionof the Sales & Use Tax was above target for September.Specifically, the Education Fund components were: Sales and Use Tax, $8.90 million or +2.95%above target; Motor Vehicle Purchase & Use, $2.35 million or -5.67% below target; LotteryTransfer, $1.89 million or -2.16% below target; and Education Fund Interest $0.13 million or+454.47% above the monthly target.ConclusionSecretary Lunderville cautioned that, “The continued volatility in the national economy is a seriousconcern. We need to be very cautious because of the uncertainty of national markets and theexpectation that a significant amount of the Estimated Income Tax payments received to date in theGeneral Fund will likely need to be refunded. We will continue to monitor future revenues veryclosely and review the situation again after the revenue forecast is revised in November.”Note: Revenue Estimates are fiscal year total estimates.Prepared by Department of Finance & ManagementDate: October 02, 2008
…says slew of suspicious financial activity …exposes questionable budgetary allocations By Michael YoungeWhile the security of the country is of paramount importance and must never be compromised, the Opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) is not prepared to condone any sort of corruption or skulduggery when it comes to the allocation of the country’s scarce financial resources.As a result, the Party on Thursday raised concerns over what it said appeared to be a slew of questionable allocations to the budget of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), which is being funded under the Ministry of the Presidency. The PPP maintained that it was also taken aback by what appeared to be slush funds that were created by the People’s National Congress (PNC)-led A Partnership for National Unity and Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition Government.Speaking during a media conference on Thursday, former PPP/C Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee expressed disappointment over the fact that the Opposition was disallowed from questioning a series of questionable and worrying allocations made to the GDF’s $12 billion budget, which climbed from $8 billion over the past two years.Rohee said that he was particularly concerned that corruption within the GDF was now reaching remarkable levels under the current Administration. Rohee claimed that if one were to examine the GDF’s budgetary allocation, one would notice that billions of dollars were being misallocated or siphoned off.The former Home Affairs Minister told reporters that the GDF was awarded more money than the entire Agriculture Ministry, which has responsibility for management of the agricultural sector. He posited too that more monies were allocated to the security agency when compared to the pittances that were given to the administrative regions.The PPP/C Member of Parliament argued that something was amiss as GDF’s allocation grew by a whopping $4 billion after it was increased from $8 billion to $12 billion over the past two years despite the fact that Guyana was not getting value for money being spent on various projects because of poor Executive oversight, and a lack of accountability and transparency.He said, “In the course of 2017, the Guyana Defence Force received a total of six supplementary allocations amounting to $171.9 million … apart from what was budgeted for … in addition to that, they received from the Contingencies Fund $185 million … In addition to the money they received in 2017, these are big bucks.”The PPP/C MP was confident that if he was given the opportunity to pose questions about the allocations, the Government may have been unable to defend the projects and sums that were being allocated to less than transparent ventures. He was equally disappointed over the Speaker’s decision to disallow questions on the remaining portions of the Ministry of the Presidency’s budget in the interest of good governance and curbing corruption.He said that a series of skulduggery was taking place at the Ministry of the Presidency and the GDF was being used to hide monies and slush funds which would in turn be accessed for political and other questionable practices.“You have cases where projects are being embarked upon by the GDF; contractors are being paid huge sums in advance, but the project was never completed … when these matters are raised in the Public Accounts Committee over the years, they accept the deficiencies,” Rohee said.Veterans’ CoI recommendationsThe parliamentarian also explained that he expected that there would have been allocations made in the GDF’s budget for key recommendations flowing from the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the state of veterans in Guyana which highlighted the need to remove the “tremendous challenges” that were currently hindering the entity’s transformation into a “small, versatile and robust” military.He reminded that another key recommendation was for serious consideration to be made to improving the engineering corps of the Army so as to improve its performance through recapitalisation.“The engineering corps is a very critical core, because they are the core ranks that deal with a number of issues within the Force.”Rohee said that more emphasis should have been placed on the development of a master plan and strategic plan that covered core areas of the GDF’s operation that could led to redounding benefits for the entity.
by, Kyrié Carpenter, Managing EditorTweetShare26ShareEmail26 SharesCulture change starts with people change and people change starts with community and conversation (preferably over good food!). This concept is captured by the ancient latin term “convivium.” Simply put, the pleasure of good food shared in good company is a springboard to conversation and, sometimes, action.During each stop of the Age of Disruption Tour — in which I have the honor of performing — Dr. Thomas sits down to lunch with a small group of community leaders and activist invited by AARP and local sponsors. During the lunch Dr. Thomas facilitates a conversation where all voices are heard and people begin to know each other more deeply. The theme of the lunch is “Disrupt Aging” in honor of AARP CEO JoAnn Jenkin’s signature initiative. The conversations are always thought provoking and meaningful, and personally my favorite part of each day on tour.As the conversation deepens ideas begin to emerge, diverse at first, but then like stars alighting one at a time, patterns or constellations begin to form and the bigger picture soon becomes clear.This swing the conversations were about what each of us has learned on our journey with aging, as a personal experience and from a professional standpoint. The ideas that emerged were thought provoking and paradoxical showing how much we have learned, and how much we still have to learn. How much things have changed and how much more change is called for.In honor of the process of constellating ideas, takeaways from two of the lunches are below in image form. A special thanks to Julie Sebastian for showing us the Harvest way of note taking and inspiring these pieces.Related PostsBreaking Bread and Changing AgingAs part of the Age of Disruption Tour, we host a lunch with AARP at each tour stop to have an intimate conversation with local age disrupters. We’d like to share some of the wisdom that emerges.Disrupting the Stale Youth/Age DualityHow do we challenge a Youth/Age orthodoxy that is so entrenched and so powerful and which remains, for all practical purposes, invisible?Convivium, the particular pleasure that accompanies sharing good food with the people we know wellAt its best, food nourishes us – body and soul. A meal can embody powerful symbols of love and acceptance. The bond between comfort and food, which begins at the breast, is fortified throughout childhood and gains renewed strength in the late decades of life. Properly prepared, the meals we…TweetShare26ShareEmail26 SharesTags: convivium Eat MESH