Arkansas ends year with revenue gain, $78.7 million surplus

by The City Wire staff ( 3 views 

Arkansas ends its 2013-2014 fiscal year with a surplus of $78.7 million on total tax collections of $6.242 billion. The surplus was well below the $299.5 million surplus in the previous fiscal year.

The fiscal year total revenue was 0.5% above the previous year and was 0.2% above forecast. The gain marks four consecutive years of gains in gross tax collections.

“The fiscal year ended above forecast and above the budgeted amount as a result of stable collections in gross revenue and lower-than-expected payouts from gross general revenue in Individual Income tax refunds and other deductions,” John Shelnutt, head of the Department of Finance and Administration’s Economic (DFA) Analysis & Tax Research division, said in his report released Wednesday (july 2). “Weak absolute growth in year ago growth measures was attributable to adverse comparison to the income shifting into tax year 2012 liability that benefited fiscal year 2013 collections. Aside from special factors, the economic-related Withholding Income tax payments grew 2.0 percent in Fiscal year 2014, largely in line with employment, personal income, and inflation indicators over the same period.”

Collections have declined relative to how the fiscal year began. The gross collections were up 3.4% after the first six months of the fiscal year, and 0.9% above forecast. After the first four months of the fiscal year, the gross revenue was up 4.1%.

Individual income tax collections for the fiscal year totaled $3.111 billion, down 1.1% from last year and just 0.3% above the budget forecast.

Fiscal year sales and use tax collections were $2.173 billion, up 2.3% above last year but 1.6% below the budget forecast. Sales and use tax collections, considered a barometer of consumer confidence, also ended fiscal year 2013 on a down note. Collections in the segment for the fiscal year totaled $2.124 billion, up just 1.1% compared to the 2012 period, and 1.4% below forecast.

Income taxes and the sales and use tax collections are the two primary sources of state revenue.

Corporate income tax collections in the fiscal year totaled $440.2 million, up 2.1% compared to last year and 2.6% below forecast.

June gross revenue was $616.4 million, down 0.8% from last year and 0.3% below forecast.

Individual income tax collections during June totaled $286.8 million, up 0.5% compared to June 2013 and matched the monthly forecast.

Sales and use tax collections during the month totaled $180.2 million, down 2% from last year and 5.5% below the forecast.

Alcoholic beverage
July 2013 – June 2014: $53.2 million
July 2012 – June 2013: $52.6 million

Games of skill
July 2013 – June 2014: $39.5 million
July 2012 – June 2013: $35.9 million

July 2013 – June 2014: $219.2 million
July 2012 – June 2013: $230.3 million

July 2013 – June 2014: $118.4 million
July 2012 – June 2013: $109.9 million

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.

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 May 2010-May 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.