The revenue report for September is out and tax collections declined in every category, with the total for the first three months of the year not far ahead of the same time last year.
So: Tax-cutting dreams of major candidates can’t be achieved without pain — big pain if Asa Hutchinson wins and persuades an instant big lop out of the legislature. It also increases the pressure not to kill or dramatically alter the private option Medicaid expansion that brought a windfall of cash to the state. Mike Ross, remember, wants to hang onto the program and to phase in a broader restructuring of the income tax. Asa is not so sure about the private option.
A summary of the report:
September Net Available General Revenues total $520.7 million, $2.1 million or -0.4 percent below last year and $9.7 million or -1.8 percent below forecast.
September results were below forecast in all major categories of collections. Sales tax collections accounted for $8.1 million of the decline for the month against forecast. Individual Income tax collections were down 1.5 percent from year ago results and below forecast by $4.1 million, largely due to payroll timing effects in the Withholding category. Quarterly Individual Estimated payments were in line with forecast. Corporate Income tax collections were $1.1 million below forecast.
A dip in sales tax may be a reflection of the general economy. It may also reflect the move to untaxed Internet commerce. Either way, it’s a lick out of the treasury.
PS — Greetings from Max in Vienna. Anybody interested in a travelogue can check my Facebook page. I just happened to check e-mail during a lull between a stop at a coffee shop and a visit to a beer garden in the shadow of the Third Man’s ferris wheel. I thought I’d throw up this bit of news. Off now for a three-pound roasted pig shank and maybe something to wash it down.