LITTLE ROCK — State revenues in April were down more than 11 percent from a year ago and slightly below forecast, the state’s fiscal office said Friday.
The state’s net available general revenue last month was $670.2 million, which was $72.6 million, or 11.3 percent, below April 2013 and $600,000, or 0.1 percent, below forecast.
The main factor in the decline from last year was a drop in individual income tax collections, according to the state Department of Finance and Administration. Collections in April totaled $466.6 million, which was down $101.7 million, or 17.9 percent, from a year ago and $30.1 million, or 6.1 percent, below forecast.
“I think the big story is the income tax shift that affected last year, producing a peak and contributing to our ($300 million) surplus we recorded last year,” said John Shelnutt, director of economic analysis and tax research for DF&A.
The shift occurred when some wealthy taxpayers moved income into 2012 to avoid a federal tax increase that was coming in 2013.
“This is coming back down to normal levels,” Shelnutt said, adding that state finance officials expected the drop in individual income tax collections and factored it into the state forecast.
“It’ll be interesting to see which states did not factor that in,” he said.
April sales tax collections were above April 2013 collections by 4.9 percent and above forecast by $2.3 million, or 1.3 percent. Some of the difference between actual collections and the forecast may be related to short-term factors in processing collections, according to DF&A.
Corporate income tax collections in April were $20.7 million above forecast.
The state’s revenue for the fiscal year that began July 1 is $4.2 billion, which is up $22.2 million, or 0.5 percent, from a year ago, and $77.6 million, or 1.9 percent, above forecast.