The New York Times reports today that most states haven’t suffered financially from the pandemic, taking in nearly as much revenue, in some cases more, than pre-coronavirus.
Arkansas is among the lucky ones.
By the Times’ reckoning, Arkansas almost broke even, with a drop of .2 percent in tax revenue. That puts it in the top half of states financially.
The federal relief money had a huge impact. Extra unemployment went right back into the economy, for one thing. The direct aid to state and local governments didn’t hurt either, though Republicans have claimed this benefitted blue states.
Arkansas and other states also have enjoyed a windfall of sales tax collections on online shopping, a sector that increased enormously during the pandemic.
Arkansas revenue in recent months has been up year over year and the state is amassing a huge surplus, which many politicians are hungering to give back to millionaires with further income tax cuts.
Signs of recovery began last summer, but many remain cautious. Unemployment remains high in many sectors.