Arkansas general revenues fell in December for the 11th time in the past 13 months, raising concerns that the fiscal 2010 budget may require additional cuts.

The Department of Finance and Administration reported last week that general revenue in December totaled $429.3 million, down $28.3 million from December 2008 and $30.3 million less than expected.

Revenue for the first six months of fiscal 2010 total $2.57 billion, some $80 million less than in the same period of fiscal 2009 and $49.7 million less than expected in the October 2009 revised forecast.

Finance Department director Richard Weiss, the state’s chief financial officer, said the revenue forecast should be lowered again and more spending cuts are needed to match expenses with revenue before fiscal 2010 ends on June 30.

Net revenue — total revenue minus refunds to taxpayers and funding for high-priority efforts — totals $2.24 billion so far in fiscal 2010.

That figure is $54.9 million less than expected in October and $37.8 million less than in the first six months of fiscal 2009.

Gov. Mike Beebe cut the general revenue budget by $100 million in October due to unexpected declines in revenue.

He said last week that additional cutbacks were an option that is being considered.

Beebe may also draw on $40 million set aside by the Legislature in 2009 to cover future revenue shortfalls.

“It is a rainy-day fund that we set aside for the rainy day, and we are obviously in a rainy day,” he said.

Subscribe Now

Independent and authoritative analysis and perspective for the bond buying industry.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.