• The Star Staff

November net income to General Fund tops forecast

By The Star Staff

The net income to the General Fund during November totaled $656.1 million, about $127.8 million, or 24 percent, above the monthly projection, the island Treasury Department announced earlier this week.

The accumulated revenue as of November reached $4 billion, of which $479.3 million is revenue that comes from measures that had been postponed to hinder the effects of the pandemic during the period from March to June of the previous fiscal year that ended June 30.

“It should be noted that the income level for November represents a record number for this month,” Treasury Secretary Francisco Parés said Tuesday. “Due to the fact that in mid-October the COFINA [the Spanish acronym for the Puerto Rico Sales Tax Financing Corp.] debt service was completed, the foregoing implies that, as of that date, the sales and use tax [IVU by its Spanish acronym] collections corresponding to the 5.5 rate from which COFINA is nurtured, entered the General Fund.”

Among the sectors that showed the best performance in November were the IVU, individuals and motor vehicle excise duties, among others. The IVU beat the monthly forecast by $96.1 million, or 72 percent. When comparing the IVU collections in this month with those of November 2019, the amount received in 2020 exceeded by $101.2 million, or 79 percent, the collections of the previous year.

The Treasury chief said both the IVU and the other components of consumption taxes, in general, have shown an upward trend since the beginning of the fiscal year. Among the factors associated with this performance are, the influx of funds from locally and federally approved programs to quell the pandemic, the disbursement of funds for reconstruction work, and other elements such as changes that, due to confinement necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic, have biased the use of electronic payment methods that could affect compliance.

The agency also reported a net operating cash flow of $490 million in the Treasury Single Account (TSA) for the week ended Dec. 25, 2020 as compared to a $59 million forecast.

The cash flow account report filed by the Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority noted that the TSA receipts from state collections are $1.12 billion ahead of plan.

“A portion of the positive variance is temporary and relates to $256 million in [fiscal year 20]20 funds from the SURI [Internal Revenue Unified System] sweep account that were transferred to the TSA sooner than expected,” the report noted.

The TSA’s ending bank cash position for the week and the year-to-date ended Dec. 25, 2020 was $9.78 billion, which was $1.13 billion higher than the $8.65 billion forecast, the report said.

Total inflows for the week ended Dec. 25 were $683 million, which was $233 million higher than the $450 million projection, according to the document. Meanwhile, outflows were $192 million, $199 million lower than the $391 million forecast, it showed.

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