LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas tax collections were up 14.2 percent in April and 15 percent above last year , the state Department of Finance and Administration reported Thursday.
John Shelnutt , director of economic analysis and tax research with the state Department of Finance and Administration, said the increase was due mostly to a rise in individual income tax collections.
“Much of the increase in recent collections represents income to (last year) and paid in 2013 revenue,” he said, adding that many taxpayers shifted their income to last year to avoid paying higher federal tax rates. “Larger than anticipated payments with filing extensions and returns received in April for tax year 2012 resulted from taxpayer strategy and improved business earnings.”
Shelnutt said a number of other states and the IRS were reporting similar revenue results for April.
Individual income tax collections totaled $568 million in April, up $102 million or 21.9 percent from last year and $99.7 million — 21.3 percent — above the monthly forecast.
“This is a one-time event,” said DF&A Director Richard Weiss said.
While the individual income tax collections were expected, Weiss said “the good thing is that our economic drivers in the forecast are pretty close to right on target.”
April sales tax collections totaled $174.2 million, down $4.5 million or 2.5 percent from last year and $12 million or 6.5 million below the monthly forecast.
Individual income tax collections in April totaled $568.3 million, $101 million, or 21.9 percent above last year and $99.7 million or 21.3 percent above forecast.
Corporate income tax collected totaled $39.9 million in April, up $1.1 million from last year and $1.5 million or 3.6 percent below forecast.
The report came a day after the state’s fiscal office increased state revenue projections for the rest of the current fiscal year and next, reflecting both modest economic growth and tax changes that go into effect for the budget period that begins July 1.
The report to the Legislature revised the current revenue forecast upward by about $38 million, increasing the projected state surplus from about $99 million to $137.7 million by the end of the fiscal year on June 30.