Partly on account of tax payment quirks, Arkansas revenue collections in April — traditionally the year’s biggest month — were down sharply from the same month in 2013, as forecasters had predicted. Sales and use tax collections, a good barometer of economic activity, were up 4.8 percent in the month over the month in 2013.
The Department of Finance and Administration explained an 11.3 percent drop in comparable months, a total that was only $600,000, or .1 percent, off the state’s forecast:
Results in April, the largest collection month of the year, reflect adequate forecast provision for the anticipated decline from Individual Income tax collections in the prior year. Income tax shift from taxpayer strategy in the prior year added to FY 2013 results as a one-time boost and presented a challenge to current fiscal year prediction. The outcome of this one-time shift is reflected in the latest April results as a $101.7 million
decline in Individual Income tax revenue compared to year ago results. The 17.9 percent decline was mostly anticipated and further offset by lower-than-expected Individual Income tax refunds.
For the first 10 months of the fiscal year, the state gross tax take for the year was $51.3 million, or 1 percent, more than last year and .9 percent ahead of forecast. But the net, after required payments taken off the top of tax collections, are ahead of forecast by 1.9 percent.