February’s state revenue numbers showed consumers spending more money than the previous month and a lack of income tax refunds also helped cushion the state coffers.

The Arkansas General Revenue Report for February totaled net revenues of $210.1 million, up 10.5% above last year and 8.1% above forecast.

“Results were mainly driven by the relative lack of refunds from Individual Income tax returns received rather than normal gains or losses in collections,” noted John Shelnutt, head of Economic Analysis and Tax Research for the Department of Finance and Administration.

“Calendar year-to-date returns were still down significantly compared to year ago patterns after IRS-related delays at the start of the tax filing season in January. Total refunds were below year ago levels by 3.0 percent in February and 12.2 percent year to date. Rebound in returns and refunds is evident but not back to year ago levels or forecast as of February results. Additional shift in refund payout is expected in March and April as a result of the IRS filing delay and initial rate of tax filings in Arkansas returns,” Shelnutt added.

February individual income tax collections totaled $198.3 million, up 2.3% from a year ago, but 0.8% below forecast.

The report noted that sales and use tax collections – which have been sluggish – were higher compared to last year by 5.2% and exceeded forecast by 0.9%.

“The gain in February offsets a decline in January, with the two-month average amounting to 2.0% year-over-year growth,” Shelnutt said.

Corporate income tax collections exceeded forecast in February by 39.9%.

Year-to-date net available general revenues total $3.16 billion, $166.1 million or 5.6% above year ago levels. Net available revenue is above forecast by $99.2 million or 3.2%.

You can access the full report here.

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