John Shelnutt, director of economic analysis and tax research for the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration

DALLAS — Lagging corporate and sales tax collections lowered Arkansas' July revenue below forecast for the first month of the fiscal year, officials said.

Revenues of $403.1 million fell $7.1 million below the same month last year, according to John Shelnutt, head of economic analysis and tax research for the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration.

Corporate income tax collections of $18.4 million were $8.5 million below July 2013 and $9.7 million below forecast, according to Shelnutt's report Aug. 4. Sales tax collections totaled $185.5 million, which was $500,000 below July 2013 and below forecast by $7.6 million.

Officials said they were encouraged by individual income taxes being on forecast and an increase in withholding.

"Individual income tax collections were on forecast and displayed good growth in the economic-related payroll withholding tax," according to Shelnutt's report. "Smaller revenue sources were mostly above forecast and year ago collections for the month."

July individual income tax collections of $213.2 million increased by $7.3 million, or 3.5% compared to last year and were $200,000 or 0.1% ahead of forecast. Individual withholding increased 4% compared to last year, Shelnutt reported.

In the fiscal year that ended June 30, Arkansas' revenue of $5.02 billion for the fell $4.5 million, or 0.1%, below the previous year's total, according to Shelnutt.

The state still achieved a year-end surplus of $78.7 million or 1.6% above the net amount budgeted for fiscal year 2014, Shelnutt said.

Arkansas carries general obligation bond ratings of AA from Standard & Poor's and Aa1 from Moody's Investors Service, with stable outlooks.

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