Arkansas’ fiscal health on the rise with increased November revenues


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Arkansas – In November, Arkansas witnessed a notable increase in its state general revenue, climbing by $25.5 million, or 4.4%, from the same month last year, reaching $606.6 million. This surge not only reflects a buoyant economy but also surpassed the state’s predictions by $28.1 million, or 4.9%.

A significant part of this growth was driven by sales and use tax collections, which beat the forecast by $17 million, or 6.3%, and individual income tax collections, which exceeded expectations by $6.5 million, or 0.8%, as reported by the state Department of Finance and Administration.

John Shelnutt, Arkansas’ chief economic forecaster, underscored the report’s indication of a robust economy. The state’s financial health is crucial as it determines the funding for essential services. After accounting for tax refunds and special expenditures, the net revenue available for state agencies in November was $473.4 million, up 0.3% from the previous year and surpassing forecasts by $28.3 million, or 6.4%.

This fiscal year, which began on July 1 and will conclude on June 30, 2024, has seen a mixed bag of financial outcomes. Despite a decline in general revenues by $47.4 million, or 1.4%, from last year, the state’s financial performance has been better than expected, exceeding forecasts by $176.8 million, or 5.6%.

Net general revenues too have followed a similar trend, dropping by $164.6 million, or 5.6%, compared to the previous fiscal year, yet still beating the forecast by $144.1 million, or 5.5%. In September, the state saw a decrease in net general revenue by 7.9% from the same month a year ago, but it still outperformed forecasts significantly, by 11.9%.

Jim Hudson, the secretary of the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, highlighted this trend: “The state’s net general revenues are $108 million above forecast after the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2024, pointing toward continued strength in the Arkansas economy.”

The General Assembly and Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders, acknowledging these economic trends, have authorized a substantial increase of $177.7 million in the state’s general revenue budget for fiscal 2024, totaling $6.2 billion. This budget expansion primarily benefits education and corrections programs, reflecting the state’s commitment to these vital areas.


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