Buoyed by increasing sales and use tax collection, state general revenue increased in July by $7.7 million over the same period a year ago to a record $531.8 million for the month.
July’s revenue was 1.5 percent over the same period a year ago and exceeded the state’s forecast by $7.2 million or 1.4 percent, state Department of Finance and Administration officials said Thursday in their monthly revenue report.
The previous record collection for July was $524.1 million in 2017, said Whitney McLaughlin, a tax analyst for the department.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson said July revenue outperformed expectations and signals a strong start of the new fiscal year.
“The sales tax collection alone reveals a growing consumer confidence throughout the state and again suggests the economy is continuing to build on the momentum with which we closed out fiscal year 2018,” the Republican governor said in a written statement.
“While this is good news, we will continue to monitor these numbers closely as the year progresses,” Hutchinson said.
July is the first month of fiscal 2019, which ends June 30, 2019. Midway through, the sales tax on groceries is expected to be trimmed under a 2013 state law and individual income tax rates for Arkansans who make less than $21,000 a year in taxable income will be cut under a 2017 state law, according to state officials.