STATE OF ARKANSAS Department of Finance and Administration

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1 STATE OF ARKANSAS Department of Finance and Administration OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR 1509 West Seventh Street, Suite 401 Post Office Box 3278 Little Rock, Arkansas Phone: (501) Fax: (501) May 6, 2015 The Honorable Bart Hester, Co-Chair The Honorable Jim Dotson, Co-Chair Joint Committee on Economic and Tax Policy 171 State Capitol Little Rock, Arkansas Dear Senator Hester and Representative Dotson: In accordance with the provisions of Arkansas Code, , I am attaching tables summarizing the May 6, 2015 revision to the official general revenue forecast for Fiscal Years 2015, 2016, and Included in the tables are selected economic assumptions and the details of the updated revenue forecasts for Fiscal Years Summary of Net Available Revenues: Actual In FY 2014 net available revenues totaled $5,022.4 million, a decrease of $4.5 million or -0.1% from FY However, the official funding level for distribution was $4,943.8 million. A surplus of $78.7 million was transferred to the General Revenue Allotment Reserve Fund. Forecast The forecast for FY 2015 is increased from the Official Forecast and current budget. For FY 2015 net available revenues are expected to reach $5,151.3 million, an increase of $128.9 million, or 2.6 percent above FY 2014 net available. Year-todate actual growth after ten months in the fiscal year has been 3.8 percent above year earlier levels for net available and 3.3 percent for gross revenue, resulting in $163.8 million above forecast at that point. Also, one-time deposits of $18.6 million from the State Attorney General and an estimated $41.7 million from the Arkansas Insurance Department are now expected in the remaining months of FY Rebound in the state economy from business and household economic activity continues at a modest pace. Better than expected collection results in Corporate Income Tax and lower tax refunds will likely be offset by reduced Withholding Income Tax collections derived from updates to withholding formulas observed with

2 tax rate reduction starting on January 1, The updated payroll withholding formulas by employers and payroll service companies reflect inflation adjustments in addition to the tax rate change. The FY 2015 forecast is expected to fund the allocations A + Rainy Day Fund + B + B1 + C and a $92.4 million surplus over the current Revenue Stabilization Law. For FY 2016 net available revenues are expected to reach $5,186.2 million, an annual increase of $34.9 million or 0.7 percent above FY This amount reflects updates to the economic forecast and a total net revenue reduction of -$26.5 million from tax law changes by the Regular Session of the 90th General Assembly. Tax law changes from the 89 th General Assembly also represent a net revenue reduction of -$141.3 million in FY Gross general revenue is expected to decline by $61.4 million or -1.0 percent. The FY 2016 forecast is expected to fund the allocations A + Rainy Day Fund + B + B1 and 58.0 percent (or $5.8 million) of C in the current Revenue Stabilization Law. For FY 2017 net available revenues are expected to reach $5,290.0 million, an annual increase of $103.8 million or 2.0 percent above FY This amount reflects a total net revenue reduction of -$ million from tax law changes by the Regular Session of the 90th General Assembly. Gross general revenue is expected to increase by $163.6 million or 2.6 percent. Economic Forecast Assumptions Forecasts of the U.S. and state economies indicate steady economic recovery and low inflation. Arkansas experienced accelerating net job growth in the private sector over the past year, with additional gains expected in the near term. Personal income growth derived from a combination of jobs, wage gains, and non-wage components has produced a percent growth rate combined with low inflation. The macroeconomic forecast assumes continued sluggish growth in external markets and further growth leadership by the U.S. among major economies. This divergence of growth implies low commodity inflation, lower-than average interest rates, and a strong currency. Exporters, including agriculture, will be challenged in this market setting. Sources of growth favoring the Arkansas mix of industries are expected from growth in domestic markets related to housing sector growth and consumer products and services. Rebound in consumer activity locally from improved incomes and job markets will widen the scope of recovery and related activity indicators. New and expanded 2

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4 STATE AND NATIONAL ECONOMIC AND REVENUE FORECASTS The following sections summarize the economic outlook for the nation and Arkansas for the next two years with comments updating current year conditions. The Official Revenue Forecast for the Biennium Forecast is included. The revenue forecasts are conditionally based on the expected economic conditions in the state and nation as of April The U.S. and state economic forecasts were compiled from simulations representing structural economic modeling systems at IHS Inc., a national forecast provider. The Office of Economic Analysis and Tax Research, Office of the Director, DFA, prepared the general revenue forecast. Economic and Revenue Estimates for Fiscal Year 2015 Summary of Economic and Revenue Estimates for FY 2015 FY 2015 U.S. Gross Domestic Product (Real Output). This summary is based on the April 2015 baseline forecast of IHS Inc. During FY 2015, the United States economy is expected to produce final goods and services valued in inflationadjusted dollars at $16,331 billion, for an annual increase of $446.1 billion or 2.8 percent. Two general measures of inflation indicate modest price gains during the year, stemming from weak conditions in a variety of major markets and still-slack labor market conditions. These consist of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the GDP price deflator, a measure of overall price inflation spanning consumers, businesses, and government. The Consumer Price Index is expected to increase 0.5 percent and the GDP price deflator is expected to rise by 1.2 percent. U.S. gross domestic product in current dollars is estimated at $17,778 billion, an increase of $697.7 billion or 4.1 percent. The current dollar version of GDP growth more closely relates to current dollar revenue collections of states. Both measures are unadjusted for inflation. Average annual U.S. oil prices are estimated at $66.20 per barrel (domestic crude price to refiners) in FY 2015 from the April forecast. Energy prices in general have been constrained by weak economic conditions and North American production but supported by global tensions and speculation for recovery. Weekly and monthly price swings could vary widely around the annual averages. 4

5 FY 2015 state nonfarm personal income (the sum of wages and salaries, proprietor s income, rent, dividends, interest and transfer payments) is estimated at $ billion (current dollars), an increase of $4.591 billion or 4.2 percent over FY FY 2015 state wage and salary disbursements are estimated at $ billion, an increase of $2.077 billion or 4.2 percent. FY 2015 state payroll employment is expected to reach a level of million jobs in FY 2015, an increase of approximately 23,500 jobs or 2.0 percent. Private sector job growth is expected to be 2.5 percent over the same period. FY 2015 Gross General Revenues Gross general revenues are estimated at $6,398.4 million, an increase from FY 2014 of $155.8 million, or 2.5 percent. Pursuant to Arkansas Code , the total fee deducted from general revenue for funding of the State Central Services Fund and Constitutional Officers Fund for FY2015 was set at 3.2 percent. In addition to the usual deductions from gross general revenues, such as the Constitutional Officers Fund, the State Central Services Fund, and refunds of individual and corporate income taxes, the following trust fund is noted: Act 1315 (1999) Educational Excellence Trust Fund. Act 1315 (1999) established a benchmark of percent which is applied against actual sales and use tax collections of the previous fiscal year. Under this formula, $297.4 million will be distributed (net) in FY2015. FY 2015 Net Available General Revenues The net available forecast for FY 2015 is increased from the Official General Revenue Forecast of November 13, Net available revenues are estimated at $5,151.3 million, an increase of $128.9 million or 2.6 percent from FY The forecast includes one-time deposits expected before the end of FY 2015 of $18.6 million from the Attorney General s Office and an estimated $41.7 million from the Arkansas Insurance Department. 5

6 FY 2015 revenues are expected to fund the allocations in the current Revenue Stabilization Law at 100% of A + Rainy Day Fund + B + B1 + C and a surplus of $92.4 million. FY 2015 Selected Special Revenues: FY 2015 Educational Adequacy Fund: Act 107 of the Second Extraordinary Session of 2003 increased the state sales and use tax rate from 5.125% to 6.0%, effective March 1, Effective July 1, 2004, a new sales tax on selected services went into effect in addition to an increase in vending machine decal fees. Act 94 increased the minimum corporate franchise tax and the tax rate, effective for calendar years beginning January 1, Effective with FY 2008, a portion of the six-cent per gallon dyed diesel tax is also deposited to the Educational Adequacy Fund to partially offset the revenue loss from exempting dyed diesel from sales tax. The additional revenues are deposited as special revenues to the Educational Adequacy Fund to be used to fulfill the financial obligations of the state to provide an adequate educational system. Estimate for FY 2015: $461.4 million. FY 2015 WorkForce 2000 (Special Corporate Income Taxes). Act 1315 (1999) established a benchmark of 6.78 percent which will be applied against net corporate income tax collections in the previous fiscal year. Under this formula, $26.2 million will be distributed in FY FY 2015 Soft Drink Excise Tax (Medicaid Program Trust Fund). In FY 2015, the soft drink excise tax is forecast at $42.0 million, representing a -4.2 percent decrease compared to FY 2014 collections. Economic and Revenue Estimates for the Biennium Summary of Economic and Revenue Estimates for FY 2016 FY 2016 U.S. Gross Domestic Product (Real Output). This summary is based on the April 2015 baseline forecast of IHS Inc. During FY 2016, the United States economy is expected to produce final goods and services valued in inflationadjusted dollars at $16,755 billion, an increase of $424.4 billion or 2.6 percent. Two 6

7 general measures of inflation indicate limited price pressures during the year. The Consumer Price Index is expected to increase 0.8 percent and the GDP price deflator is expected to rise by 1.6 percent. U.S. gross domestic product in current dollars is estimated at $18,537 billion, an increase of $758.6 billion or 4.3 percent over FY Average annual U.S. oil prices are estimated at $53.10 per barrel (domestic crude price to refiners) in FY2016. Firming of the U.S. dollar and stockpiles of oil are expected to add to price weakness already evident in FY Weekly and monthly price swings could vary widely around the annual averages. FY 2016 state nonfarm personal income is estimated at $ billion (current dollars), an increase of $4.280 billion or 3.8 percent over FY FY 2016 state wage and salary disbursements are estimated at $ billion, an increase of $2.593 billion or 5.0 percent. Total disbursements reflect the combined effects of net job growth, longer average work weeks, and any gains in wage rates, bonuses, or level of overtime pay rates. FY 2016 state payroll employment is expected to reach a level of million jobs, an increase of approximately 22,600 jobs or 1.9 percent. Private sector job growth is expected to be 2.3 percent in FY FY 2016 Gross General Revenues Gross general revenues are estimated at $6,337.0 million, a decrease from FY 2015 of $61.4 million, or -1.0 percent. In addition to the usual deductions from gross general revenues, such as the Constitutional Officers Fund, the State Central Services Fund, and refunds of individual and corporate income taxes, the following trust fund is noted: Act 1315 (1999) Educational Excellence Trust Fund. Act 1315 (1999) established a benchmark of percent which is applied against actual sales and use tax collections of the previous fiscal year. Under this formula, $302.9 million is estimated to be distributed (net) in FY

8 FY 2016 Net Available General Revenues Net available revenues are estimated at $5,186.2 million, an increase of $34.9 million or 0.7 percent compared to FY FY 2016 Selected Special Revenues: FY 2016 Educational Adequacy Fund: Act 107 of the Second Extraordinary Session of 2003 increased the state sales and use tax rate from 5.125% to 6.0%, effective March 1, Effective July 1, 2004, a new sales tax on selected services went into effect in addition to an increase in vending machine decal fees. Act 94 increased the minimum corporate franchise tax and the tax rate, effective for calendar years beginning January 1, Effective with FY 2008, a portion of the six-cent per gallon dyed diesel tax is also deposited to the Educational Adequacy Fund to partially offset the revenue loss from exempting dyed diesel from sales tax. The additional revenues are deposited as special revenues to the Educational Adequacy Fund to be used to fulfill the financial obligations of the state to provide an adequate educational system. Estimate for FY 2016: $473.1 million. FY 2016 WorkForce 2000 (Special Corporate Income Taxes). Act 1315 (1999) established a benchmark of 6.78 percent which will be applied against net corporate income tax collections in the previous fiscal year. Under this formula, $30.0 million is estimated to be distributed in FY FY 2016 Soft Drink Excise Tax (Medicaid Program Trust Fund). In FY 2016, the soft drink excise tax is forecast at $40.6 million, representing a -3.5 percent decrease compared to FY 2015 collections. Summary of Economic and Revenue Estimates for FY 2017 FY 2017 U.S. Gross Domestic Product (Real Output). During FY 2017, the United States economy is expected to produce final goods and services valued at $17,205 billion in inflation-adjusted dollars, an increase of $450.3 billion or 2.7 percent. The two inflation measures of consumer price index (CPI) and GDP price deflator are expected to gradually move up in response to recovery in the overall economy. The consumer price index (CPI) is expected to increase 2.4 percent and the GDP price deflator is expected to increase 1.9 percent in FY

9 U.S. gross domestic product in current dollars is estimated at $19,405 billion for FY 2017, an increase of $868.1 billion or 4.7 percent. Average annual U.S. oil prices are estimated at $66.00 per barrel (domestic crude price to refiners) in FY Oil prices are expected to remain under pressure from abundant supplies and gradual change in demand patterns. Weekly and monthly price swings could vary widely around the annual averages. FY 2017 state nonfarm personal income will reach $ billion (current dollars), an increase of $5.809 billion or 5.0 percent over FY Nonfarm income is expected to accelerate over the biennial period. FY 2017 state wage and salary disbursements are estimated at $ billion, an increase of $2.624 billion or 4.9 percent. FY 2017 payroll employment in the state is estimated to grow from a level of million jobs in FY 2016 to million jobs in FY This represents an increase of approximately 16,600 jobs or 1.4 percent. Private sector job growth is expected to be 1.5 percent in FY FY 2017 Gross General Revenues The forecast for gross general revenues in FY 2017 is $6,500.6 million, an increase of $163.6 million or 2.6 percent over FY In addition to the usual deductions from gross general revenues, such as the Constitutional Officers Fund, the State Central Services Fund, and refunds of individual and corporate income taxes, the following trust fund is noted: Act 1315 (1999) Educational Excellence Trust Fund. Act 1315 (1999) established a benchmark of percent which is applied against actual sales and use tax collections of the previous fiscal year. Under this formula, an estimated $311.1 million may be distributed (net) in FY

10 FY 2017 Net Available General Revenues For FY 2017, net available general revenues are estimated at $5,290.0 million, an increase of $103.8 million or 2.0 percent over FY FY 2017 Selected Special Revenues: FY 2017 Educational Adequacy Fund: Act 107 of the Second Extraordinary Session of 2003 increased the state sales and use tax rate from 5.125% to 6.0%, effective March 1, Effective July 1, 2004, a new sales tax on selected services went into effect in addition to an increase in vending machine decal fees. Act 94 increased the minimum corporate franchise tax and the tax rate, effective for calendar years beginning January 1, Effective with FY 2008, a portion of the six-cent per gallon dyed diesel tax is also deposited to the Educational Adequacy Fund to partially offset the revenue loss from exempting dyed diesel from sales tax. The additional revenues are deposited as special revenues to the Educational Adequacy Fund to be used to fulfill the financial obligations of the state to provide an adequate educational system. Estimate for FY 2017: $488.8 million. FY 2017 WorkForce 2000 (Special Corporate Income Taxes) Act 1315 (1999) established a benchmark of 6.78 percent which will be applied against net corporate income tax collections in the previous fiscal year. Under this formula, an estimated $30.1 million may be distributed (net) in FY FY 2017 Soft Drink Excise Tax (Medicaid Program Trust Fund). In FY 2017 the forecast is $39.2 million, representing a -3.5 percent decrease compared to FY Office of the Director, Economic Analysis and Tax Research, Department of Finance and Administration May 6,

11 OFFICIAL GENERAL REVENUE FORECAST Biennium Millions of Dollars 05/06/15 FY 15 05/06/15 FY 16 05/06/15 FY 17 Estimate Increase % CH Estimate Increase % CH Estimate Increase % CH INDIVIDUAL INCOME 3, , , CORPORATE INCOME SALES AND USE 2, , , ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE TOBACCO INSURANCE RACING GAMES OF SKILL SEVERANCE CORPORATE FRANCHISE REAL ESTATE TRANSFER MISCELLANEOUS TOTAL GROSS 6, , , LESS: SCS/COF INDIVIDUAL REFUNDS CORP REFUNDS CLAIMS RESERVE ECON DEV INCENTIVE AMENDMENT 82 BOND WATER/SEWER BONDS COLL SAVINGS BONDS MLA CITY/CO TOURIST EDUC EXCEL TRUST DESEGREGATION EDUCATIONAL ADQCY NET AVAILABLE 5, , , LESS: SURPLUS TO ALLOTMENT 92.4 RESERVE FUND NET AVAILABLE DISTRIBUTION 5, , , Prepared by Economic Analysis and Tax Research, DFA Net Available Estimate for FY15: 100% of A, Rainy Day Fund, B, B1, C, and $92.4 million surplus. Page 11

12 ECONOMIC ASSUMPTIONS AND THE OFFICIAL GENERAL REVENUE FORECAST Biennium Millions of Dollars 05/06/15 FY-15 05/06/15 FY-16 05/06/15 FY-17 Estimate Increase % CH Estimate Increase % CH Estimate Increase % CH INDIVIDUAL INCOME TAX 3, , , INDIVIDUAL REFUNDS NET INDIVIDUAL INCOME 2, , , CORPORATE INCOME TAX CORPORATE REFUNDS NET CORPORATE INCOME SALES AND USE TAX 2, , , NET ECONOMIC TAX REVENUE 5, , , OTHER TAX REVENUE GROSS GENERAL REVENUES 6, , , LESS: SCS/COF INDIVIDUAL REFUNDS CORPORATE REFUNDS CLAIMS ECON DEVEL INCENTIVE FUND AMENDMENT 82 BOND WATER/SEWER BONDS MLA CITY/CO TOURIST DESEGREGATION SETTLEMENT EDUC EXCEL TRUST FUND COLLEGE SAVINGS BONDS EDUCATIONAL ADEQUACY NET AVAILABLE 5, , , LESS: SURPLUS TO ALLOT. RESERVE 92.4 NET AVAILABLE DISTRIBUTION 5, , , ECONOMIC ASSUMPTIONS FY 2015 FY 2016 FY 2017 U.S. GDP Nominal (Billion $) 17, , , U.S. GDP Real (Billions 2009$ Chain-Weight) 16, , , U.S. GDP Deflator (Chain-Wt, 2009=100) U.S. CPI Price Index (1984=100) OIL - Avg. Dom. Crude to Refinery ($ per barrel) AR. Net General Revenue (Million $) 5, , , AR. Net GR % of Non-Farm Personal Income AR. Non-Farm Personal Income (Million $) 112, , , , , , AR. Wage & Salary Disbursements (Million $) 51, , , , , , AR. Non-Farm Proprietor Income (Million $) 7, , , AR. Per Capita Income ($) 38, , , , , , AR. GDP Nominal (Million $) 130, , , , , , AR. Employment Total Payroll (Thousands) 1, , , AR. Employment Private Sector (Thousands) , , AR. Employment Manufacturing (Thousands) AR. New Car/Light Truck registrations (Thous.) AR. Retail Sales (Million $) 40, , , , , , U.S. Summary: IHS Global Insight, April 2015 Baseline Page 12 AR Forecast: IHS Global Insight, April 2015 Baseline

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