For the first time since the end of the recession, a significant number of states find themselves facing budget shortfalls. In fact, a recent report from the National Conference of State Legislatures suggests 22 states are addressing budget shortfalls as their fiscal year comes to an end.
We are pleased to report that Arkansas is not one of them. This week, we received the end of the year revenue report and learned the state has ended the fiscal year with a surplus of $15.7 million. This is the seventh year in a row Arkansas has ended the year with a surplus.
The fiscal year ended above forecast as a result of improving growth in major categories of collections in the final quarter. In the month of June alone, revenue increased by more than $25 million of what had been previously forecasted.
Gross general revenue totaled $6.5 billion for fiscal year 2017. After tax refunds and special expenditures, the net general revenue totaled $5.3 billion. This amount was $19 million below fiscal year 2016.
The breakdown of the revenue is as follows:
• Individual income taxes totaled $3.2 billion. That is $66.5 million more than last year.
• Sales and use tax totaled $2.33 billion. That is $48 million more than last year.
• Corporate income taxes totaled $4.3 billion. That is a decrease of $52.9 million from last year.
Individual income tax refunds increased by 21 percent from last year. Corporate income tax refunds were down 2.1 percent from last year.
These numbers are not only useful for planning a state budget, they are a reflection of the day to day life of Arkansans. They show us if our constituents are doing better financially than they were the year before. They also show us where we can improve policy to ensure families continue to get the services they need without being overburdened by taxes.
To find more information about the revenue for the state or to check out monthly reports, visit www.dfa.arkansas.gov.