Arkansas' revenue sees major boost in January due to strong tax collections

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LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — A boost in all major tax collection categories in January lifted Arkansas' revenue above expectations and higher than the same month last year, state finance officials said Tuesday.

The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration said the state's net available revenue last month totaled $521.3 million, which was $37.6 million above January 2014 and $36.2 million above forecast. The state's revenue for the fiscal year that began July 1 is $3.1 billion, which is $80.3 million above forecast.

"We had a very good month in January," DFA Director Larry Walther told reporters. "When we look at the revenue from the sources, we're up pretty much across the board."

The biggest gain came from individual income tax collections, which totaled $356.2 million. That was $36.2 million higher than the same month last year and $33.9 million above forecast. Sales tax collections totaled $193.2 million, which was $14.6 million higher than the same month last year and $10.9 million above forecast.

Corporate income tax collections totaled $33.5 million, which was $2.6 million above January 2014 and $7.3 million above forecast.

The latest numbers come as lawmakers are nearing final approval of Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson's proposal to cut income taxes for the middle class by $102 million a year. Walther said he didn't plan on changing the state's forecast, including the projected $216 million surplus the state is expected to have by the end of the fiscal year.

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