Bureau of Finance: Arkansas budget surplus close to $1 billion

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – Arkansas has racked up a budget surplus of nearly $1 billion for the fiscal year faster than expected, state finance officials said Tuesday.

The Department of Finance and Administration said the state’s net disposable income for the fiscal year, which began July 1, was $6.1 billion. That’s $987.9 million more than expected and $736 million more than at the same time last year.

Governor Asa Hutchinson said last month he was considering calling a special session to consider uses of the surplus after finance officials said they expected it to reach $1 billion. by the end of the fiscal year.

These possible uses include expanding broadband access in the state, additional funding needs for school facilities due to inflation, and other tax relief.

Hutchinson said Tuesday that caution should be exercised about options for the state’s surplus, but said the latest report raises the possibility of a special session. The Republican governor said he does not plan to call one until June 30.

“Taxpayers need and deserve at least some of the surplus returned to them because the state should not be generating such a large surplus,” he said in a statement.

The department said the state’s net disposable income in April was $1.1 billion, up $345.7 million from the same month last year and nearly $532 million. dollars more than expected. Personal and corporate income tax collections from the state were higher than the same month last year and higher than expected.

Sales tax collections in April were lower than the same month last year, but higher than expected.

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