Arkansas tax revenue continues positive trend

Arkansas tax collections continue to point to a stable economy, with year-to-date revenue up 3.3% and December collections up 7.6%.

The driver of tax revenue gains continues to be individual income tax collections.

Figures released Thursday (Jan. 3) by the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration show that the gross tax collection for the first six months of the state’s fiscal year (July-December) is $2.826 billion, up 3.3%, or $90.3 million, over the 2011 period. The increase is also 0.5% above forecast.

Year-to-date individual income tax collections total $1.33 billion, 7.9% ahead of the 2011 period. The collections are 1.9% above the forecast.

Year-to-date (July 2012-Dec. 2012) gross receipts collections — primarily sales and use taxes — totaled $1.059 billion, up 0.4% compared to the 2011 period and down 0.3% below forecast.

“Results were mainly driven by Individual Income tax collections which grew 17.4 percent compared to last year. Payroll timing shifts accounted for much of this gain, as seen in the 19.6 percent year over year gain in withholding. This observed volatility in the monthly pattern is largely canceled out in an annual context and in the official forecast,” John Shelnutt, head of the Department of Finance and Administration’s Economic Analysis & Tax Research division, said in the report.

Shelnutt said the winter storm that hit Arkansas on Christmas Day and left more than 250,000 without power – primarily in central Arkansas – had a negative effect on collections. The effect will be reflected in the January report, he said.

December tax collections totaled $517.6 million, up 7.6% compared to December 2011, and 2.1% above the forecast. Individual income tax collections during December were $243 million, up 17.4%.

Sales and use tax collections totaled $180.9 million, up 2.5% in December compared to December 2011. The collections, which are a good measure of consumer spending, were 1.6% below forecast.

Year-to-date corporate income taxes totaled $191.4 million, down 6.1% from the 2011 year-to-date last year, and below forecast by 3.6%.

OTHER TAX COLLECTIONS
Alcoholic beverage
July 2012 - Dec. 2012: $24.5 million
July 2011 - Dec. 2011:  $24 million

Games of skill
July 2012 - Dec. 2012: $16.3 million
July 2011 - Dec. 2011:  $11.7 million

Tobacco
July 2012 - Dec. 2012: $116.7 million
July 2011 - Dec. 2011:  $124.4 million

Insurance
July 2012 - Dec. 2012: $42.2 million
July 2011 - Dec. 2011:  $42.9 million

COLLECTIONS HISTORY

Fiscal year 2012 marked the second year of year-over-year gains. Arkansas tax collections reversed a negative two-year slide in the 2011 fiscal year, with collections up 4.5% in the July 2010-June 2011 period.

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State tax collections for fiscal year 2011 totaled $5.673 billion, up 4.5% above the $5.43 billion in the 2010 period. Total state revenue of $5.43 billion in fiscal year 2010 was 2.4% below the previous fiscal year and marked the second consecutive year of revenue decline.

The biggest declines in the 2009 and 2010 fiscal years were with individual income tax collections and sales and use tax collections.

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