by Max Brantley
The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration has notified leaders of the state General Assembly of a revised revenue forecast due to better than expected state revenues.No mention made of the $43 million cut from the budget for the coming year.
The State had previously cut the revenue forecast by $70 million after several months of unexpectedly low collections and significant refunds to state taxpayers. However, strong collections in May and June, sparked in part by a rebound in sales tax collections, led to an additional revision at the close of the fiscal year, June 30th.
“We’ve had an unusual year in many regards,” said Larry Walther, chief fiscal officer of the State. “Sales taxes were down for much of the year and behind our expectations. However, that changed for the better over the last two months.”
Arkansas’ system of balanced budgets prevents spending beyond the forecast of available revenues. Adjustments to the forecast limit the amount available to agencies to spend.
With Friday’s revision, the state will have spent $5.323 billion in FY17. Of the $60 million made available as a result of Friday’s revision, $43 million will go to the state’s Medicaid Trust fund.
Additional information on the revenue report for the month of June and the year ending June 30th will be released Wednesday morning.