The state’s tax take in February didn’t reverse a trend: money is still running well behind the forecast on which the state budget is based after seven months of the budget year. This means there’s no extra money for the likes of highways, tax cuts and other baubles. But Gov. Asa Hutchinson did say that he thought things stable enough that a budget cut won’t be required.
Gross revenue of $4.08 billion through February was$29.3 million, or .7 percent more than the same period last year. But it was $50.8 million, or 1.2 percent below the forecast.
Also: In February alone, income was well ahead of last February in both actual dollars and forecast. The net was $40 million above forecast, for example. But this reflects an oddity in timing of payroll withholdings and is not a reflection of an actual big growth in income. It does more than offset a lower-than-normal report in January based on similar timing circumstances.
The sales tax, a reliable indicator of economic activity (at least it was until the Internet started depleting local sales) was below the forecast by almost 2 percent.