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December Arkansas revenue report shows higher gains than expected

Finance and Administration building
David Monteith
The Arkansas Revenue Report for December shows higher-than-average gains in taxes and revenue.

Numbers released Wednesday by the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration show state revenue is up higher than expected.

In December, the state’s net general revenue totaled $3.6 billion or about $125 million above forecast. Gross general revenue totaled $4.1 billion, exceeding projections by nearly $134 million. Meanwhile, sales, individual and corporate income tax collections all saw gains.

Individual income tax totaled $1.768 billion, which beat forecasted projections by $73 million. Sales use and tax amounted to $1.691 billion, $2.9 million above forecast. While corporate income tax totaled $406.9 million, $69.5 million above forecast.

John Shelnutt with the Department of Finance and Administration says some of this has to do with tax cuts passed by the Arkansas Legislature in August.

“The part that does not play out in withholding now, will show up in a few months in the income tax filing season with large refunds going out in March and April,” he said. “So we've only got a part of the tax reduction taking place here, but a much larger share coming out as large refunds later in the fiscal year.”

He says that inflation is bringing up income and taxable sales, and consumers appear to be spending more money.

“Retail trade is up about 4.4% year over year and motor vehicle sales tax is up 7.8% in the month,” he said.

Income was well above forecast, Shelnutt says, with some from capital gains and some from corporate profits. December tax collections from restaurants and other, mainly personal, services went up by 8% and 12.7%, respectively.

Josie Lenora is the Politics/Government Reporter for UA Little Rock Public Radio.