The Arkansas revenue report for March could be categorized as “nothing to write home about.” It certainly didn’t bring good news of a rebound in process.
Net available general revenues totaled $285.2 million for the month, 4.8% below last year and virtually unchanged from forecast levels.
Gross receipts – a barometer of consumer spending – topped $161 million, 6.4% below last year and 0.9% below forecast.
Individual income taxes were down 1.6% to $194.9 million, 0.5% below forecast. Tax refunds were higher than normal levels, which was expected. Corporate income taxes were higher than predicted. Corporate taxes increased 5.2% to $51.6 million, 14% above projections.
March marks the end of the state’s third fiscal quarter. Year to date, net available general revenues were $3.15 billion. That’s 2% below last year’s levels, but 0.5% above the revised forecast made in January 2010.
What does this report tell us? In short, the economy remains groggy as consumer spending and personal incomes are bringing in slightly less than expected and considerably less than one year ago when the Arkansas economy began to take a full beating.