Arkansas ends fiscal year with $1.1 billion surplus, state’s second largest

Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders signs legislation at the state Capitol in Little Rock, Ark., on Monday, April 10, 2023. (AP Photo/Andrew DeMillo)

The fiscal year ended in Arkansas with a surplus of more than $1.1 billion, which is the state’s second largest, finance officials announced Wednesday.

The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration said the state’s net available revenue for the fiscal year that ended on Friday totaled nearly $7.2 billion. The state’s individual income taxes came in below last year’s numbers but above what was forecast, while corporate income and sales tax collections were above last year and forecast.

“The economy outperformed expectations across the fiscal year in revenue results amid volatility from slowing inflation, tax reductions and tight labor markets,” Finance and Administration Secretary Larry Walther said in a statement.

The record for a surplus was set in the previous fiscal year, when Arkansas reported a $1.6 billion surplus. The state has reported its three highest surpluses over the past three years.

Republican lawmakers have cited the state’s surpluses as they’ve pushed for tax cuts in Arkansas in recent years. In April, Republican Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed into law a measure cutting individual and corporate income taxes by $124 million a year.

Alexa Henning, a spokesperson for Sanders, said the governor “will continue working to responsibly phase out the state income tax. Henning said that “being financially sound and strong helps keep us moving in that direction.”