With just two weeks remaining in the fiscal year, Hawaii tax collections are faring better than forecast by the Council on Revenues.

Total collections into the state’s general fund are down 0.8 percent through May, compared to the same period last year, according to figures from the Hawaii Department of Taxation.

Tax Department Director Fred Pablo attributed the overall decline to delayed income tax refunds back in July 2010.

To his point, corporate and individual income tax collections were down 50.4 percent and 17 percent, respectively, through May compared to last year.

Meanwhile, general excise and use tax collections, the largest single category, were up 7.6 percent through May compared to last year. Transient Accommodations Tax collections were up 28.6 percent through May compared to last year.

At its May 26 meeting, the Council on Revenues voted not to alter its general fund forecast, keeping its earlier prediction of negative 1.6 percent growth for the year ending June 30.

If the minus 1.6 percent growth pans out, it will result in a $4.29 billion general fund balance for the 2011 budget year. That’s about $70 million shy of the fiscal 2010 balance.

Using that revenue estimate, the state faces an approximately $230 million shortfall for the remaining month of the fiscal year.

Lawmakers earlier this month passed a bill allowing Gov. Neil Abercrombie to tap into the Hurricane Relief Fund to cover the deficit.

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