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Arkansas tax revenue up almost 19% in December

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David Monteith
/
KUAR News
The Department of Finance and Administration reported Tuesday revenue in the first six months of the fiscal year was $3.896 billion, up 5.4% compared to the previous year.

An almost 20% gain in December sales tax revenue and an almost 12% fiscal year-to-date (July-December) gain in sales tax revenue has pushed overall Arkansas tax revenue up 1.5% over budget estimates.

Revenue in the first six months of the fiscal year was $3.896 billion, up 5.4% compared with the 2020 period, according to Tuesday’s report from the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration (DFA).

“The broad-based gains in December tax collections reflect continued recovery in the state economy with all sectors moving higher at this point. The latest gains above forecast after the recent forecast revision bode well for meeting or exceeding projections for year-end surplus on June 30th,” DFA Secretary Larry Walther noted in a statement.

Arkansas ended fiscal year 2021 (July 2020 – June 2021) with a revenue surplus of $945.7 million thanks in part to the COVID-19 induced shift in a tax filing deadline from June to December that pushed some of fiscal 2020 income tax payments into 2021.

Individual income tax revenue in the first six fiscal months was $1.695 billion, down 4.3% from the same period in 2020, and 1% above the budget estimate. Sales and use tax revenue, an indicator of consumer spending, was $1.555 billion in the first six months up 11.7% compared with the 2020 period and 0.9% over the budget forecast.

Fiscal year-to-date corporate income tax revenue totaled $372 million, up $108.4 million compared with the same period in 2020 and 7.1% above the budget forecast.

John Shelnutt, DFA director of economic analysis and tax research, said comparisons with year-ago income tax collections remain “somewhat distorted” by income tax deadline shifts in 2020 related to the COVID-19 pandemic relief effort.

DECEMBER REVENUE
Gross revenue in December was $719.6 million, up 18.9% compared with December 2020 and 8.6% above forecast. Individual income tax revenue was $274.3 million, up 9.8% over December 2020 and 6.5% above the budget forecast.

Sales and use tax revenue in December was $274.7 million, up 19.6% compared with December 2020 and 5.1% above the forecast. Corporate income tax revenue was $136.9 million, up $46.4 million compared with December 2020 and $24.7 million above the forecast.

This story comes from the staff of Talk Business & Politics, a content partner with KUAR News. You can hear the weekly program on Mondays at 6:06 p.m.