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Mike Beebe on Tax Reform

Democratic Governor

 


Cut regressive grocery sales tax now; eliminate it later

My proposed budget sets aside a relatively small amount of money for tax relief to continue attacking the sales tax on groceries. A half-cent cut is not much. I'd like to do more. But it is the most broad-based tax relief we can offer to our citizens a this time, and it shows our continued commitment and dedication to eliminating this regressive tax.

Beyond that, I don't see any room for additional tax cuts or significant increases in program funding. If we are to retain the enviable national position we now hold, we must remain cautious & conservative. If you make a proposal that seeks to cut revenue or increase spending, the only responsible approach is to state precisely where that money is coming from. If the proposal calls for a tax cut then it is only fair to detail exactly which existing programs you will cut to offset that loss in funding. Abstract claims of hypothetical future growth don't change the immediate impact that a tax cut will have on state revenues and state services.

Source: 2011 Arkansas State of the State Address , Jan 11, 2011

Phase out the sales tax on utilities for manufacturers

To help attract new manufacturers and retain the ones we have, we’ll phase out the sales tax on utilities for manufacturers, with the first step being a one-sixth reduction. I will work with the Legislature and the legislative leadership to roll back the sales tax on off-road diesel fuel and replace it with a per-gallon tax coupled with an incentive to purchase bio-diesel.
Source: 2004 State of the State Address , Jan 10, 2007

Get rid of the regressive sales tax on food

We have a moral charge to rid our State of its most regressive tax, the state sales tax on food. We have the opportunity now to begin eliminating it in a responsible way that will end the tax over time and not impede state services in the interim. We all share a common desire to move our State forward and to offer help to those among us who need it most. That desire is a noble one and should drive us to work together to a common end: never making the perfect the enemy of the good.
Source: 2004 State of the State Address , Jan 10, 2007

$12B in federal economic stimulus as state block grants.

Beebe signed $12B in federal economic stimulus as state block grants

The nation's governors urge you to include state countercyclical funding as part of your legislation to stimulate the economy. This would include $6 billion in Medicaid assistance by freezing scheduled federal FMAP reductions and increasing all states' F Congress approved $20 billion in assistance to states, including $10 billion in Medicaid and $10 billion in block grants. The governors' current stimulus proposal is essentially the same, with the exception that it is a total of $12 billion as opposed to $20 billion. This proposal can be enacted quickly, as there is precedent and it is timely, temporary and targeted.

Additionally, governors appreciate federal efforts to use tax policy to get additional money into the hands of consumers and businesses to stimulate the economy. When considering tax changes to spur economic growth, governors urge Congress and the Administration to follow the maxim of "Do no harm" by avoiding changes at the federal level that would diminish state tax revenues or force state actions that would undermine the effectiveness of federal efforts.

We look forward to working with you to enact the appropriate stimulus program.

Source: Letter from 37 governors to House & Senate Leadership NGA-0801TX on Jan 28, 2008

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Page last updated: Apr 29, 2016