December appeared to be a better month for the state of Nebraska's tax collection, according to a state Revenue Department report. 

But state Tax Commissioner Tony Fulton "extended a note of caution" about just how the tax numbers can be interpreted. 

While gross individual income taxes were up 18 percent, compared to the October forecast, and 16 percent after refunds were accounted for, gross sales taxes were 0.3 percent below forecast. After refunds, sales taxes were 6 percent above the forecast. 

Looking at actual numbers, Revenue Department figures show sales tax collections were up slightly more than $8 million this December over the same month a year ago.  

For the fiscal year, net general fund receipts were 1.6 percent above forecast. 

Tax collections have been fairly consistently below projections for the past two years, with a few exceptions. 

Gov. Pete Ricketts struck the same cautionary tone as Fulton about the December report. 

“This may have been influenced by federal tax reform, and we will be watching closely to see if it is indicative of future growth," Ricketts said in a written statement. "My team will be closely monitoring future tax receipts as we approach final tax reporting for the 2017 tax year.”

President Donald Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on Dec. 22, and national media reports indicated widespread efforts by many Americans to prepay taxes, so filers could take advantage of the state and local tax deduction that was eliminated as a part of tax reform, he explained.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-7228 or

On Twitter @LJSLegislature.


State government reporter

JoAnne Young covers state government, including the Legislature and state agencies, and the people they serve.

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