Dec 1, 2021 - News

Gov. Hutchison to call special session for tax cuts

Gov. Asa Hutchinson
Gov. Asa Hutchinson announces a special session. Photo courtesy of state of Arkansas

Gov. Asa Hutchinson will call a special session for Dec. 7 primarily focused on a tax reduction bill, he announced Tuesday during a news conference.

Why it matters: The bill, if passed, would reduce the top individual income tax rate from 5.9% to 4.9%, and the top corporate income tax rate from 5.9% to 5.3%. The move would reduce state general revenue by $135.25 million in fiscal 2022, which started July 1, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

  • Some other items, such as appropriation bills for American Rescue Plan Act money and a bill to allow House and Senate members to have security personnel, are also on the call.
  • Hutchinson confirmed no abortion-related bills are on the docket, at least for now.

What they're saying: The governor says the tax reduction bill will benefit all taxpayers and help Arkansas be competitive with other states in terms of job creation and keeping talent in the state.

The other side: Sixteen statewide organizations — including Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, Arkansas Medical, Dental and Pharmaceutical Association and Disability Rights Arkansas — sent the General Assembly a joint letter asking not to cut taxes and to instead spend more money on public programs.

  • "We want our state to grow and Arkansans to thrive. To do that, we should make investments in things that have big payoffs for our communities and draw people to our state, like great schools, strong infrastructure, a high-quality health care system, and targeted investments in our struggling rural communities," the letter reads.
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