Arkansas' general revenue tax collections surged beyond expectations in December, increasing by $53.6 million, or 7.4%, over the same month a year ago to $773.2 million.
The tax collections exceeded the state's latest forecast for the month by $117.4 million, or 17.9%, largely due to larger than projected estimated payments for individual income and corporate income taxes.
Tax refunds and some special government expenditures are taken off the top of total general revenue collections, leaving a net amount that state agencies are allowed to spend, up to the amount authorized by the state's Revenue Stabilization Act.
The state's net tax revenues in December increased by $38.1 million, or 5.9%, over the same month a year ago to $684.3 million, which beat the state's latest forecast for the month by $112.9 million, or 19.8%.
“Income tax payments reflecting tax year 2022 liabilities pushed corporate and individual income tax categories well above forecast,” said Larry Walther, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration.
“2022 was a very good year in Arkansas," he said in a written statement. "Sales tax collection growth remained elevated in December and over the first six months of fiscal year 2023.”
December is the sixth month of fiscal 2023, which started July 1, 2022, and ends June 30, 2023.
During the first six months of fiscal 2023, total general revenues increased by $249.2 million, or 6.4%, over the same period in fiscal 2022 to $4.1 billion and exceeded the state's forecast by $133.9 million, or 3.3%.
So far in fiscal 2023, the state's net tax revenues increased by $192.3 million, or 5.6%, over the same period in fiscal 2022 to $3.6 billion and outdistanced the state's forecast by $125.2 million, or 3.6%.
The state's general revenue budget for fiscal 2023 totals $6.02 billion. State officials are projecting a general revenue surplus of $598.1 million at the end of fiscal 2023.