The monthly State General Revenue Report for July was released today by the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration. It showed that state revenues came in slightly below the current forecast.
July is the first month of the new state 2012 state fiscal year. Although income tax collections were up, the lower-than-anticipated sales tax collections remains a troubling spot in the state revenue and budget picture. Consumer purchasing (and consumer confidence) clearly has yet to rebound, and is unlikely to do so until businesses start hiring again.
Net available revenue totaled $377 million which is $6.4 million above last year but $2.4 million (0.6 percent) below the current forecast. This decline can be attributed to a fall in sales tax collections which totaled $181.2 million (down $7 million or 3.7 percent from last year or $13.1 million or 6.7 percent under forecast.)
Individual income tax collections totaled $193.6 million which was up $12.4 million or 6.8 percent above last year. This amount was also above the forecast by $2.7 million or 1.4 percent. Also, corporate income tax collections were up in July with a total of $25.2 million ($2.2 million or 9.4 percent above last year and $2.1 million and 9.0% above forecast.)
Collections for the Medicaid Program Trust Fund and the Educational Adequacy Fund have decreased over this time last year. Medicaid Program Trust Fund collections for the month of July totaled $4.6 million ($0.1 million or 2 percent below last year.) Collections for the Educational Adequacy Fund were $37.3 million before deductions, a 3.8 percent decrease from last year.