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Arkansas Budget Surplus Rises To All-Time High


Arkansas' revenue has outpaced expectations for the month of May, while the state's budget surplus has risen to its highest level.

The state's net available general revenue for the month of May totaled just over $655 million, nearly an 80% jump over this time last year and about $263 million above forecast.

The latest report from the state Department of Finance and Administration shows results were above forecast in all major categories. A change in the tax deadline caused growth in individual income tax revenue, while revenues from other tax categories like tobacco and gaming also came in above forecast.

The state’s year-to-date gross revenue also exceeded forecasts by more than $1 billion.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson cited “belt-tightening” during the pandemic as the reason for the state’s record high $980 million budget surplus, despite reducing the state’s top income tax rate to 5.9%.

In a statement, Hutchinson said the record surplus is a good indication ahead of a fall special legislative session in which lawmakers will once again attempt to cut taxes.

“This shows we can fund education, raise teacher pay and protect public safety at the same time we are lowering our tax rate. It is all because our private sector continues to grow," Hutchinson said.

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