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Arkansas tax revenue up 3.4% in first six months of FY 2014

Arkansas’ December tax collection report showed a gain in overall collections but the report continues to suggest collections will not match the almost 5% gain posted in fiscal year 2013.

Year-to-date gross revenue (July 2013-Dec. 2013) totaled $2.922 billion, 3.4% above the same period last year and above forecast by 0.9%, according to the report issued Friday (Jan. 3) by the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration.

Individual income taxes for the fiscal year totaled $1.36 billion, up 2.3% from last year and just slightly above the budget forecast. Year-to-date sales and use tax collections were $1.1 billion, up 3.9% above last year and just 0.2% above forecast. Income taxes and the sales and use tax collections are the two primary sources of state revenue.

Corporate income tax collections for the first six reporting months of the fiscal year totaled $203.6 million, up 6.4% compared to last year and 4.7% above forecast.

DECEMBER NUMBERS
December gross revenue was $533 million, up 3% above last year and 0.2% above forecast.

Individual income tax collections during December totaled $245.3 million, up just 0.9% compared to December 2012 and below forecast by 0.8%. Sales and use tax collections during the month totaled $186.5 million, up 3.1% from last year and 2.2% below the forecast.

John Shelnutt, head of the Department of Finance and Administration’s Economic (DFA) Analysis & Tax Research division, said income tax receipts are lower because December 2012 saw more activity to avoid higher tax rates in 2013.

“Individual Income tax receipts appear low relative to last year due to the impact of income tax strategy last year as reflected in the comparisons. We expect this adverse comparison to continue across the remainder of the fiscal year in a variety of individual income tax components,” Shelnutt said in the report.

The report also noted a one-time payment of $5.7 million related to securities fees.

“This early deposit, recorded as Miscellaneous in the report, offset small variances below forecast in other revenue categories, including Individual Income, Corporate Income, and Sales tax,” according to Shelnutt’s report.

The revenue forecast for fiscal year 2015 is $6.333 billion, up just 2.1% above the 2014 estimate. The 2015 estimate includes an anticipated reduction of $85.2 million from tax cuts approved in the 2013 Legislative Session.

OTHER TAX COLLECTIONS
Alcoholic beverage
July 2013 - Dec. 2013: $25.7 million
July 2012 - Dec. 2012: $24.5 million

Games of skill
July 2013 - Dec. 2013: $18.8 million
July 2012 - Dec. 2012: $16.3 million

Tobacco
July 2013 - Dec. 2013: $113.5 million
July 2012 - Dec. 2012: $116.7 million

Insurance
July 2013 - Dec. 2013: $44.1 million
July 2012 - Dec. 2012: $42.2 million

COLLECTIONS HISTORY
Tax collections during fiscal year 2013 (July 2012-June 2013) totaled $6.214 billion, up 4.9% above the previous fiscal year and up 2.5% compared to budget estimates. One result of the gains was a budget surplus of $299.5 million.

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Fiscal year 2013 marked the third consecutive 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.

State tax collections for fiscal year 2011 totaled $5.673 billion, up 4.5% above the $5.43 billion in the 2010 period.

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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