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State general revenue booms in May

by Michael R. Wickline | June 2, 2021 at 11:39 a.m.
FILE — The state Capitol is shown in this file photo.

With the help of a rebounding economy and federal stimulus payments, Arkansas state general revenue in May increased by $341 million, or 70.8%, over a year ago and exceeded the state’s April 2, 2020 forecast by $327.8 million, or 66.2%.

The state’s individual income-tax due date changes compared to a year ago account for part of the growth in the year-ago comparison, the state Department of Finance and Administration said Wednesday in its monthly revenue report.

Last year, the state changed its individual income tax filing deadline from April 15 to July 15. This year, that deadline was extended from April 15 until May 17.

The state’s April 2, 2002, general revenue forecast was based on a covid-19-spawned recession.

The state’s net general revenue in May increased by $289.3 million, or 79.1%, over a year ago to $655.2 million and exceeded the state’s April 2, 2020, forecast by $263.2 million, or 67.1%. May is the eleventh month of fiscal 2021.

During the first 11 months of fiscal 2021, the state’s net general revenue have increased by $941 million, or 18.2%, over the same period in fiscal 2021 to $6.1 billion and exceeded the state’s forecast by $980 million, or 19.1%.

John Shelnutt, the state’s chief economic forecaster, said the state’s surplus in fiscal 2021 is likely to exceed $1 billion.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Wednesday that the state’s $980 million surplus so far in fiscal 2021 is the largest surplus in the state’s history.

“This fact underscores the importance of the belt-tightening decisions we made during the pandemic and the strength of our economic recovery," the Republican governor said in a written statement.

"The record surplus also tells us that this fall will be the right time to cut our individual income tax again.”

This story has been updated. It was originally published at 10:11 a.m.

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