Averting A Budget Disaster


Incoming Senate President Senator Jim Hendren, R-Gravette, said Tuesday that state legislators are studying “safety measures” for the upcoming legislative session to protect Arkansas from budget shortfalls that beset surrounding and nearby states that enacted large tax cuts.

“We have refined our work and what you are going to see in all these reform bills is long-range reform and relief plans. There will be a series of about eight or nine bills that deal with reform and about two or three bills that have to do with tax cuts,” said Hendren, co-chairman of the 16-member state Tax Reform and Relief Task Force that was created during the 2017 legislative session to study the state’s cumbersome tax code.

Two weeks ago, Gov. Hutchinson unveiled his $5.75 billion budget for the upcoming 92nd General Assembly that includes an average $4,000 annual raise for Arkansas teachers and a sizable $111 million tax cut reducing the top income bracket from 6.9% to 5.9% by 2023. The original blueprint of the governor’s proposal, now known as the “2-4-5-9 plan,” was first floated by Hendren and his task force co-chair, Rep. Lane Jean, R-Magnolia, earlier this summer.    MORE

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