DALLAS - Arkansas' revenue of $5.02 billion for the fiscal year ended June 30 fell $4.5 million, or 0.1%, below the previous year's total, according to John Shelnutt, director of Economic Analysis and Tax Research for the state.
Despite the slight decline, the state achieved a year-end surplus of $78.7 million or 1.6% above the net amount budgeted for fiscal year 2014, Shellnut said. All categories of the budget were funded during the year.
"The fiscal year ended above forecast and above the budgeted amount as a result of stable collections in gross revenue and lower-than-expected payouts from gross general revenue in individual income tax refunds and other deductions," Shellnut said in his year-end summary.
Gross general revenues of $6.24 billion represented an increase of $28.4 million or 0.5% above last year and $14.2 million or 0.2% above forecast, Shellnut said.
Withholding income tax payments grew 2%, not counting special factors, largely in line with employment, personal income, and inflation indicators, Shellnut said.
Sales and use tax collections grew $48.6 million or 2.3% over the year, compared to expected growth of 3.9%. The difference amounted to a shortfall of $34.6 million or 1.6% compared to forecast.
"This was more than offset by the gains in income tax components and smaller revenue sources," Shellnut said.
Individual income tax collections were down compared to the prior year as a result of shifts of income declaration in 2012 to avoid anticipated higher federal tax rates in 2013.
"Results compared to forecast reflect adequate provisioning for the anticipated decline from this large shift by taxpayer strategy," Shellnut said
Corporate income tax collections were above year-previous collections by 2.1% or $9.1 million and above the forecast by 2.6%, the report said. Corporate income tax refunds were above forecast and significantly higher than last year.
Arkansas carries general obligation bond ratings of AA from Standard & Poor's and Aa1 from Moody's Investors Service, with stable outlooks.