By Associated Press - Wednesday, April 15, 2020

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Nebraska state government had better-than-expected tax collections in March despite a surge in unemployment and widespread hardship caused by the new coronavirus, according to a report released Wednesday.

The Nebraska Department of Revenue reported net tax collections of $380 million, which is about 12% higher than the projected forecast of $339 million.

The department said net individual and corporate income taxes, net sales-and-use taxes and net miscellaneous taxes were all higher than projected in March.

Net tax collections are also higher than expected in the current fiscal year, which ends June 30. The state has received $3.656 billion so far, up nearly 9% from the certified forecast of $3.359 billion.

It wasn’t immediately clear why tax revenues would increase with the economy in a sharp dive. Some lawmakers have speculated that Nebraska may see a short-lived boost in tax revenue because of a stock market selloff by frightened investors.

Members of the Nebraska Economic Forecasting Advisory Board voiced concerns about the virus’ impact on the state at their last meeting in February. The board’s estimates help determine how much tax revenue state lawmakers and the governor have at their disposal.

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