Arkansas tax revenue up 1.9% in first two months of fiscal year

Overall Arkansas tax collections for the first two months of the fiscal year are on a positive track, with the topline up 1.9% compared to the same period in 2013.

Year-to-date gross revenue (July 2014-August 2014) totaled $927.8 million, up 1.9% above the same period last year and above forecast by 0.4%, according to the report issued Wednesday (Sept. 3) by the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration.

Individual income tax collections for the fiscal year totaled $422.4 million, up 6.7% from last year and just 2.2% above the budget forecast. Year-to-date sales and use tax collections were $373.7 million, down 1.8% compared to last year and 1.4% below the budget forecast. Income taxes and the sales and use tax collections are the two primary sources of state revenue.

John Shelnutt, head of the Department of Finance and Administration’s Economic (DFA) Analysis & Tax Research division, said the decline in sales tax collections is connected to an August audit.

“August results were ahead of forecast in all major categories of collections. A decline in sales tax collections compared to last year was anticipated, to adjust for one-time audit receipts in August 2014. Sales tax growth adjusted for this event was 3.9 percent year over year. Individual Income tax collections were up 10.2 percent, aided by payroll timing effects in the Withholding category,” Shelnutt wrote in the report.

Corporate income tax collections for the first two reporting months of the fiscal year totaled $26.2 million, down 20.2% compared to last year and 24.1% below forecast.

AUGUST NUMBERS
August gross revenue was $457 million, up 3.2% from last year and 2.9% above forecast.

Individual income tax collections during August totaled $209.1 million, up 10.2% compared to August 2013 and above forecast by 4.4%.

Sales and use tax collections during the month totaled $188.2 million, down 3.3% from last year and 1.3% above the forecast.

Corporate income tax collections in August totaled $7.8 million, up $1.9 million compared to August 2013 and 22.2% above forecast.

OTHER TAX COLLECTIONS
Alcoholic beverage
July 2014 - August 2014: $10 million
July 2013 - August 2013: $9.4 million

Games of skill
July 2014 - August 2014: $6.8 million
July 2013 - August 2013: $6.3 million

Tobacco
July 2014 - August 2014: $38.5 million
July 2013 - August 2013: $38.4 million

Insurance
July 2014 - August 2014: $20.7 million
July 2013 - August 2013: $20.7 million

COLLECTIONS HISTORY
Tax collections during fiscal year 2014 (July 2013-June 2014) totaled $6.242 billion, up 0.5% above the previous fiscal year and up just 0.2% compared to budget estimates. The year marked the fourth consecutive year of revenue increases. The fiscal year ended with a budget surplus of $78.7 million.

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Tax collections during fiscal year 2013 (August 2012-August 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.

Arkansas tax collections reversed a negative two-year slide in the 2011 fiscal year, with collections up 4.5% in the August 2010-August 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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