Information from last week’s General Revenue Report suggested continued slow growth in Arkansas Taxable Sales. Sales and Use tax collections in April were down 2.5% from April 2012, and were 6.5% below forecast. For the first quarter of 2013, Arkansas Taxable Sales (ATS) increased 0.2% from the previous quarter (seasonally adjusted). Following a 3.3% increase in the first quarter, ATS is now up 0.5% from the previous year, having offset the declines we saw in the second and third quarters of 2012.
Sales of gasoline were up 0.3% in 2013:Q1, so the gasoline component of Arkansas Taxable Sales Including Gasoline (ATSIG) had little effect on the total. ATSIG was up 0.2% from the previous quarter and was unchanged from the previous year.
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Arkansas Taxable Sales (ATS) is calculated by the Institute for Economic Advancement to serve as a timely proxy for Arkansas retail sales. The series is derived from sales and use tax data, adjusting for the relative timing of tax collections and underlying sales, changes in tax laws, and seasonal patterns in the data. Arkansas Taxable Sales Including Gasoline (ATSIG) incorporates data on the state motor fuel tax and gasoline prices from the Oil Price Information Service.
A spreadsheet of the data is available here: Arkansas Taxable Sales 2013:Q1 (Excel file)
* Data are preliminary until the release of the DFA report, Arkansas Fiscal Notes for April 2013, and will be updated when information becomes available. The preliminary data also include model-based estimates of gasoline sales for March. Final figures will incorporate official estimates from DFA’s Motor Fuel Tax section.