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Corporate tax collections boost Arkansas' revenue $44M higher than expected for year so far

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LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — A boost in corporate tax collections last month helped push Arkansas' revenue $44.1 million higher than predicted for the first half of the fiscal year, the state Department of Finance and Administration said Monday.

The department said December's net available revenue totaled $482.8 million, which is $10.7 million above December 2013 and $19.3 million more than forecast. The state's revenue so far for the fiscal year, which began July 1, totals nearly $2.6 billion.

The state's revenue last month was helped primarily by corporate income tax collections, which totaled $85.4 million. That was a $21.7 million increase over December 2013, and $21.1 million above forecast. The state also paid out $5.2 million in corporate tax refunds, which was $1.6 million below December 2013.

"Hopefully, we'll have a good year with corporate (tax collections), but we don't see this big one-time jump as being something that will be sustained," Tim Leathers, deputy director of the finance department, said Monday.

The corporate tax collections more than offset dips in other areas. Individual income tax collections last month totaled $233 million, which was $12.3 million less than the total collected in December 2013, and $6.1 million below forecast. Sales tax collections totaled $188.4 million, which was $1.9 million above December 2013 but $2.1 million below forecast.

The report is the last before a change in command in state government.

The Legislature set to convene Jan. 12 for this year's session. The next day, incoming Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson will be inaugurated. Hutchinson was elected partly on a vow to cut income taxes for the middle class by $100 million a year.

Outgoing Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe has urged lawmakers to delay $29.4 million worth of tax cuts on capital gains and manufacturers' utility bills for two years, but top lawmakers have said there's little support in the majority-Republican Legislature for that idea.


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