Arkansas Economy

Local & Regional News
3:27 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Report: Immigration Reform Could Boost Arkansas Revenues

Supporters of immigration reform efforts in the U.S. hold a rally in Washington, D.C. and urge Congress to pass legislation.
Credit Nicholas Neufeld / iStock

A recent analysis by a liberal-leaning think tank estimates that undocumented immigrants pay $72.4 million a year in state and local taxes in Arkansas.

The report from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy also suggests that immigration reform would positively impact Arkansas’s economy.

The study suggests that the state could gain $16.4 million in increased revenue if undocumented immigrants currently in Arkansas are allowed to work in the country legally.

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Local & Regional News
11:28 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Arkansas House Speaker Carter Named Centennial Bank President

Credit Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

Arkansas House Speaker Davy Carter has been named Regional President of Centennial Bank.

Tuesday’s announcement comes as the company is merging with Liberty Bank of Jonesboro.

Eric King, Marketing Manager with Centennial Bank, says Carter has previously served as Division President at the company, and his familiarity with the bank and northeast Arkansas helped in the decision to hire Carter.

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Local & Regional News
10:19 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Arkansas Ends Fiscal Year With $299.5M Surplus

Arkansas has ended its fiscal year with a nearly $300 million surplus.

The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration reported Tuesday that the state's net available revenue for the fiscal year that ended Sunday was $5.02 billion.

The amount was $275.4 million higher than last year. Officials said revenues were above last year's and above their predictions, primarily because of an increase in individual income tax collections.

The department attributed the growth to residents shifting income into tax year 2012 to avoid higher federal income tax rates.

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Local & Regional News
8:02 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Survey: Midwest, Plains Economy Remains Strong

Mid-America Business Conditions Index

A new monthly survey suggests the economy remains strong in Arkansas and eight other Midwest and Plains states and business will continue to improve in the months ahead. 

The overall index for the region declined to 55.6 in June from 56.2 in May, but any score above 50 suggests growth. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says business leaders expect slower growth in the next few months. 

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Local & Regional News
5:52 am
Mon July 1, 2013

New Highway Tax To Take Effect In Arkansas

Arkansas's sales tax jumps by half a cent Monday with the proceeds funding state highway improvements.

Voters OK'd the temporary tax last year to help address a shortfall in highway funds. The $1.8 billion raised will be added to other revenue to provide $6 billion in road funding during the next decade.

State highway officials say Arkansas needs about $23 billion to tackle all the necessary projects. With the increase, Arkansas' new sales tax rate will be 6.5 percent.

Local & Regional News
7:57 am
Mon June 17, 2013

$4M Expansion Underway At Van Buren Plant

A food service company that has been in western Arkansas for 70 years is embarking on a $4 million expansion at a Van Buren facility.

Tankersley Foodservice Inc. is adding cold storage and dock space to the site at the Van Buren Industrial Park.

The company says the project also includes expansion and improvement to customer service offices.

The Southwest Times Record reports the growth is expected to add up to 30 jobs.

Local & Regional News
7:54 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Sex Trafficking More Widespread in Arkansas Than Most Realize

Credit Polaris Project

Last week, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, Christopher Thyer, announced that a Little Rock man, alleged to have been a pimp and trafficker, was convicted in federal court on one count of sex trafficking. 

It was a first for his district, saying "It had been there for quite some time, and the biggest reason some of these cases are coming forward is awareness." 

Thyer says awareness is on the rise, but many people don’t know that sex trafficking could be occurring in their area.

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Local & Regional News
5:41 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Sales Tax Collections Boost Arkansas Revenue In May

The state's revenue picture is getting rosier. Finance officials say a boost in sales tax collections helped keep the revenues for Arkansas above expectations last month.

The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration said Tuesday the state's net available revenue in May totaled $334.2 million. That's $2 million below the same month last year, but $8.4 million above forecast.

The state's year-to-date revenue total $4.4 billion, which is $172.4 million above forecast. Arkansas' fiscal year ends June 30.

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New Technology
3:53 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Game Changer Of Education And Economic Development

Kezia Nanda


A brand new tool for research and economic development was unveiled on Monday at UALR.

The Emerging Analytics Center includes 35 screens with more than 50 million pixels offering high definition graphics for 3D applications.  Connected with a 3D floor projector, it allows the ability to “touch” the data and robotic “telepresence” equipment.

Governor Mike Beebe said, "It's kind of over my head from the standpoint of the technology of it. What's exciting is it's the only one in the world, apparently."

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Agricultural Research
9:36 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Grants For Sustainable Strawberry Projects Awarded


Close to $3 million in grant money is being awarded to 16 agricultural researchers to develop more sustainable methods for growing strawberries.

The project is funded by the Walmart Foundation and the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture's Center for Agricultural and Rural Sustainability is administering the awards. Winners were announced Wednesday.

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