Tuesday, February 2, 2016

State predicts $35.9 million surplus for FY 2016, rise in revenue in FY 2017

Posted By on Tue, Feb 2, 2016 at 9:56 AM

The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration this morning released its tax revenue forecast for the 2015-17 biennium. 

In short: Fiscal year 2016 (which began last summer) is expected to see a 0.5 percent decrease in net available revenue compared to FY 2015. In part, that's surely a result of tax cuts established in 2013 reaching full fruition.

In FY 2017, which begins this coming summer, the state expects net available revenue to increase by 2 percent above FY 2016.

For the current fiscal year, projected tax collections should fully fund all components of the state's budget and provide a surplus of $35.9 million. That's good news for Gov. Asa Hutchinson's highway funding plan, which leans heavily on projected surpluses to plug a gap in Arkansas's roads budget. (UPDATE: Maybe not such good news after all. $36 million is a modest number, considering the governor needs something around $192 million in surplus to meet his projected target. Explanation here.)

Here's the letter from DFA to the legislature, including budget estimates and recommendations.
The DFA also released its revenue report for January today. The report says the state's collections for the month exceeded forecasts for both net and gross revenue, and that the totals exceed that of January 2015:

January Net Available General Revenues total $551.9 million, $30.6 million or 5.9 percent above last year and $31.0 million or 5.9 percent above forecast.
The results exceeded forecast in all major categories, and were further boosted by income tax refunds coming in below expected levels.

Here's January's report.

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