The May state revenue report was another big one.

May revenue was $822.8 million, 70 percent more than the same month last year and $327.8 million, or 66 percent above the forecast.

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After off-the-top allocations, the net revenue was $263 million, or 67 percent above, the amount on which the state budget is based.

Revenues were up strongly across the board, with some filing date changes explaining some of the rise in income taxes.

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Bottom line: Net after 11 months of the budget year is $980 million above the budget forecast.

A billion-dollar surplus. Not counting piles of other reserve funds.

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Here comes the income tax cut for millionaires. Earned income tax credit for working poor? Bigger investment in pre-K, prisons, public safety, public employee health insurance. Don’t count on it. One clue: The whopping health insurance increase given state employees by the new board that has taken over setting the rates. 12 to 22 percent increases for active employees.

Here’s the full report.

UPDATE: Governor Hutchinson issued a statement:

Arkansas’s net revenue for May was $263 million more than projected and $980 million more than projected for the first eleven months of Fiscal Year 2021. May’s gross revenue was $328 million higher than forecast, and the year-to-date gross was $1.04 billion more than projected.
“The $980 million current surplus is the largest surplus in the history of Arkansas,” Governor Asa Hutchinson said today. “This fact underscores the importance of the belt-tightening decisions we made during the pandemic and the strength of our economic recovery. The record surplus also tells us that this fall will be the right time to cut our individual income tax rate again. This surplus has been created despite reducing our tax rate this year to 5.9%.  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.”
The glass is more than half-full. A budget drawn too tight and a deficiency in many public services might be cited by others. The teachers soon to see their small pay increases eaten up by a health insurance rate increase might also not join in his self-back-patting.

 

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