The state revenue report for June shows that the state tax stream hasn’t disintegrated just yet.
Revenue for the month was up. The gross amount was up 4.2 percent over the same month last year and up 8.5 percent over forecast.
June was the last month of the fiscal year. The state took in $5.575 billion overall in fiscal 2008, 2.5 percent more than the previous year (and reflecting a cut in the state sales tax on food) and .8 percent above the forecast, as revised in May.
The state ended with a surplus of $176.5 million in general revenues. Enough cushion to take the rest of the sales tax off food? There are some who think Gov. Mike Beebe’s squeaky tight budgeting elsewhere (colleges, particularly, are howling) has that in mind.
Or maybe he’ll just loosen state spending. His statement today:
“Even though Arkansans are struggling with skyrocketing fuel prices and other increasing expenses, our State’s economy continues to show signs of strength in spite of the national downward trend. Our conservative budgeting and careful planning have put Arkansas in an advantageous economic position compared to many other states. Because our national economy still faces daunting challenges, I remain alert to the potential for additional downturns in the coming months.
“If we continue to hold steady in the next two-to-three months, we will consider revising our economic forecast upward and restoring at least some of the funding that our state agencies have been asked to do without in the new fiscal year.”