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State general revenue in March drops by $29M from year ago, but it exceeds forecast

by Michael R. Wickline | April 2, 2020 at 10:32 a.m.
FILE — The state Capitol is shown in this file photo.

State general revenue collections in March dropped by $29.2 million from a year ago to $570.2 million but exceeded the state’s forecast by $26.4 million.

Last month’s general revenue collections largely reflect taxes paid to the state in March based on income earned and consumers’ purchases made in February prior to the outbreak of the coronavirus in Arkansas.

Total general revenue collections declined in March from a year ago because of large one-time corporate income tax payments to the state in March of 2019, said John Shelnutt, the state’s chief economic forecaster.

The state’s corporate income tax collections last month dropped by $55.9 million from a year ago to $26.2 million but exceeded the state’s forecast by $13.3 million.

Both individual income tax and sales and use tax collections in March increased from year-ago figures. While individual income tax collections exceeded the forecast, sales and use tax collections fell short of the forecast. Individual income and sales and use taxes are the state’s largest sources of state general revenue.

The state’s net available general revenues available to state agencies in March fell $50.5 million below year-ago figures to $356.6 million but exceeded the state’s forecast by $29.3 million.

Last week, Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s administration cut the general revenue budget for fiscal year 2020 by $353 million to $5.38 billion as it trimmed the forecast for total general revenue collections from $7.05 billion to $6.69 billion

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