Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell said Virginia took in 3.9 percent more money last month than it did for the same month a year earlier. (Steve Helber/Associated Press)

The Commonwealth took in 3.9 percent more money last month than it did in September 2010, McDonnell announced. It was 18th month out of the past 19 in which state revenue collections topped the prior year’s, the governor’s office said.

“While Virginia’s economy continues its trend of growth this month, all indicators at the state and national level highlight the need for caution in forecasting and budgeting as our economy struggles to regain its footing,” McDonnell said. “Virginia’s economy continues to show modest growth and signs of improvement that surpass those of the nation’s economy as a whole, but the fragile national economy, persistent uncertainty regarding federal funding decisions, and our economy’s vulnerability to upheaval due to national and world events prompts economists and elected officials to take a cautious, conservative fiscal approach.”

September revenue numbers are especially telling because estimated payments from individuals, corporations and insurance programs are all due that month, along with regular monthly collections of withholding, sales taxes and other sources, McDonnell’s office noted.

The revenue increase was primarily driven by a 17.3 percent jump in individual non-withholding payments and a 5.8 percent increase in sales and use taxes, the governor’s office said. But receipts for individual income tax withholding fell by 3.7 percent.

On a year-to-date basis, total revenue collections have risen 6.7 percent. Adjusted for the accelerated sales tax program, state revenues have grown 5.6 percent.