Arizona’s general fund revenue collections in April totaled $827 million, the Joint Legislative Budget Committee reported last week, marking the ninth consecutive month of year-over-year growth in state revenue.

General fund spending in April totaled $621.7 million.

Without considering revenue from a temporary 1% sales tax, April collections were 17.1% higher than in April 2010 and $86 million more than January’s official estimate.

Collections so far in fiscal 2011 total $6.66 billion, the legislative committee said, up $194.6 million from the official prediction. Revenue in fiscal 2011 is $537.5 million more than the same period of fiscal 2010.

General fund spending so far in fiscal 2011 totals $7.32 billion.

The recently adopted budget for fiscal 2012 assumed a revenue shortfall of $332 million at the end of fiscal 2011, which was resolved in next year’s spending plan. The analysts said if revenue remains at its current level, the actual deficit at end of the year would be $177 million.

Analysts said the revenue increase mostly is due to a 25% growth in individual income tax collections. Fewer taxpayers are using itemized deductions, the report noted, because fewer residents own their homes.

The analysis cited census data that show home ownership in Arizona has declined to 66% from more than 73% in 2006.

Income tax net revenues were $306 million in April, which was $118.8 million above the forecast.

Year-to-date revenues from the state individual income tax are $191.2 million above the forecast.

Sales tax collection in April totaled $388 million.

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