01/17/17  Tax Cuts On The Agenda For State Legislature


Tax cuts will be on the agenda of the Arkansas State Legislature as it begins its second week of the 91, regular session today. Lawmakers return to the Capitol after Monday's holiday honoring Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert E. Lee.

Bills expected to be heard in committees include matching measures containing Governor Asa Hutchinson's proposed 50 million dollar income tax cut for low-income Arkansans. The low income tax cut proposal also calls for creation of the Arkansas Tax Reform and Relief Legislative Task Force. According to the Arkansas News Bureau, the task force would have 16 members, including the House speaker, the Senate president pro tem and the majority and minority leaders in each chamber, or their designates, and five members from each chamber to be chosen by the House speaker and the Senate president pro tem.

The task force would be required to present recommendations for future tax reforms to the governor by December 1. The bills are expected to advance.

There is some resistance to another part of the governor's tax package, a  proposal to exempt military retirement benefits from the state income tax and offset the estimated 13 million dollar a year cost by eliminating several existing tax breaks. Some have objected to a provision that would apply the state sales tax to 100 percent of the cost of a manufactured home instead of the current 62 percent.