State revenue down slightly in October


LITTLE ROCK — State revenues in October were slightly below expectations, but for the first four months of the fiscal year everything is on forecast, the state’s fiscal director said Friday.

Net available general revenues totaled $355.6 million in October, $21.6 million or 5.7 percent below the monthly forecast, and $9 million or 2.5 percent below last year.

Richard Weiss, director of the state Department of Finance and Administration, said the drop occurred because of the “unusually large income tax growth” in September.

“We said it was going to come at the expense of (October), and guess what, it did,” Weiss said.

Individual withholding in September rose 18.1 percent compared to last year because of a payroll timing issue, Weiss said, adding that both withholding and estimated payments contributed to that gain.

“When you look at the whole annual amount, we’re right on track and doing just fine,” Weiss said Friday, adding that sales taxes were down in both business and consumer-related categories in October, but automobile sales rebounded.

A significant upswing in corporate income tax refunds also reduced net revenue during the month, he said.

Weiss is to present Gov. Mike Beebe’s economic forecast for the next fiscal year on Nov. 15 to lawmakers.

For October, sales tax collections totaled $171.3 million, $8.3 million or 4.6 percent below forecast, and $1.1 million or 0.06 percent below last year.

Individual income tax collections totaled $218.1 million, $2.3 million or 1.1 percent below forecast, and $10.7 million or 4.7 percent less than last year.

Corporate income tax collections totaled $22.3 million, a $700,000 or 3 percent below forecast, and $2.5 million or 10.1 percent below last year.