/ Modified aug 20, 2012 11:06 a.m.

AZ Revenues Continue to Outperform Budget

Fiscal '12 surplus revised upward by $22M; July income above forecast

Fiscal 2012 state revenues ended even better than originally calculated, and the new fiscal year has started strong, the Arizona Joint Legislative Budget Committee reported Monday.

In its monthly fiscal highlights report, the budget committee reported that the fiscal 2012 surplus now is calculated at $401 million, up from $379 million reported one month ago. The number is still being analyzed and, subject to audit, will be finalized in December.

The report also said that July revenues were $16.2 million ahead of the forecast, and 6.1 percent higher than one year ago.

"July furthered the state’s trend of revenue growth, as base revenue collections have increased in 22 of the last 24 months," the report said. "Increased July collections were due to growth in both sales and individual income tax collections.

"Sales tax collections were driven by gains in the major categories of retail and contracting, with retail collections posting the highest growth rate since November 2011."

The newly reported 2012 surplus figure means that the state had surplus revenues of more than $850 for the fiscal year. The Legislature put $450 million of that into a rainy-day fund, and the remainder has been rolled into the 2013 revenue pool.

The budget committee's report said that while the revenue picture looks bright, revenue collections "could be offset during the fiscal year by changing economic conditions and the outcome of federal budget negotiations."

The committee reported no information on state spending in July, saying none was available from the state Department of Administration.

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