Senate Rejects Hutchinson’s Tax Cut Plan

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Governor Asa Hutchinson’s $97 million tax cut bill for the state’s top income bracket that breezed through a Senate panel on Monday hit a wall in the full chamber after the measure failed to get the necessary three-fourths vote for approval on Tuesday.

Senate Bill 211, sponsored by Senator Jonathan Dismang, R-Searcy, failed in the full Senate by a vote of 25 yeas, 5 nays and a handful of senators not voting, including two Republicans – Sens. Terry Rice, R-Waldron, and Bill Sample, R-Hot Springs. Because the current tax rates are related to individual income and would be changed by SB211, the bill can only be enacted into law by a supermajority, or three-fourths vote of the 100-member House and 35-seat Senate.

After the vote, Gov. Hutchinson said he was disappointed to see that two Republicans did not cast a vote for his so-called “5.9” tax cut plan on the Senate floor. “We recognize that achieving a three-fourths vote is a challenge. The fact that we got within two votes on the first ballot shows that it continues to have momentum,” said Hutchinson. “This is all part of the legislative process and debate, and we look forward to it being called back.”    MORE

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