Thursday, January 3, 2013

State tax revenue up in December, but signals mixed

Posted By on Thu, Jan 3, 2013 at 9:34 AM

Here's the monthly report for December on Arkansas tax collections. Bottom line, growth isn't meeting expectations.

Revenue was up sharply — by 7.6 percent on gross collections and by 9 percent on net collections after mandatory takeouts for constitutional offices and others — compared with December 2011, but the report cautioned:

Results were mainly driven by Individual Income tax collections which grew 17.4 percent compared to last year. Payroll timing shifts accounted for much of this gain, as seen in the 19.6 percent year over year gain in withholding. This observed volatility in the monthly pattern is largely canceled out in an annual context and in the official forecast. Estimated payments were only slightly above forecast with 1.2 percent year over year growth.

Sales and Use taxes were up compared to last year by 2.5 percent but underperformed the forecast by -1.6 percent. Storm-related effects on collections will mainly be reflected in results for January.

Corporate Income tax collections also underperformed the forecast in December with a -5.9 percent decline in year over year terms and -9.2 percent below forecast. Monthly collections in corporate income are a volatile component of general revenue.

The spare money with which Republicans will balance the Medicaid books and maintain existing school and prison and college programs while cutting taxes? Hasn't materialized just yet.

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