Find out more →

Get unlimited access. Become a digital member!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Beebe will continue fight against tax cuts

Posted By on Wed, Feb 16, 2011 at 4:30 PM

CAN WE MAKE A DEAL?: Gov. Beebes hopes of stopping a big tax cut may depend on his success lobbying in his old stomping grounds in the Senate.
  • CAN WE MAKE A DEAL?: Gov. Beebe's hopes of stopping a big tax cut may depend on his success lobbying in his old stomping grounds in the Senate.

Gov. Mike Beebe will continue his fight against the three tax cuts approved in the House today and sent to the Senate.

Said spokesman Matt DeCample: "In a different year, he'd be for two of them." That would be the tax break on manufacturers' utility bills and more of an income tax break for lower-income single heads of household. But Beebe thinks the budget is too tight and the future too uncertain to be carving more money out of a budget, particularly with his hopes to reduce the sales tax on food by another half-cent.

Beebe has "strong philosophical differences" with the capital gains tax cut. "It leaves out nearly 98 percent of the state population," DeCample said. "And there is absolutely no guarantee of a single penny being reinvested in the state, but it will leave us with a $65 million hole in the budget."

Would Beebe veto the legislation if it passes the Senate? DeCample said the governor was torn. He disagrees with the bill. But the governor believes people should be responsible for their decisions and not expect the governor to backstop bad ones with a veto. He's said before that the tax cutters should be ready to designate spending to be cut to meet shortfalls.

Beebe told reporters, in response to the argument that, based on effective date of the legislation, there'd be no impact in this fiscal year, that he "doesn't believe in kicking the can down the road." Next year's budget looks more perilous than this year's, DeCample said, with further expenditures expected to be required to shore up Medicaid and the crammed prisons. Beebe noted that some of the opponents of health care reform were among those pushing the capital gains tax break. In the case of health care, they said it wasn't right to argue that concerns about costs were down the road, in 2017. But, with capital gains, they are raising just the same sort of argument.

Beebe also addressed the Republican whining that he'd worked against the legislation. "If he didn't, he wouldn't have been doing his job," DeCample said. "Someone who is surprised the governor twists arms doesn't understand the office of governor."

But Beebe said no threats were made by him or anyone working for him. If a legislator thinks otherwise, DeCample said, "he wants to know who did that and what they said and he'll deal with it."

The Senate committee that will consider the tax bills has four pure Republicans and a fifth, Jerry Taylor, who reliably votes with Republicans. It takes five votes to get a favorable recommendation in committee. Most believe the manufactuers' tax break and the single-parent tax break will pass easily. A used car sales tax reduction, coming from powerful Sen. Gilbert Baker, also is expected to pass the Senate. The Senate Democratic majority might provide some hope for Beebe on the capital gains tax and both he and former senator Morril Harriman, his chief of staff, were at work in the Senate today. Paradoxically, amid all the tax cutting, comes some belief that Beebe's bill to reduce the tax on groceries a half-cent might face a difficult route to passage.

But you have to understand, a grocery tax cut helps poor people. By their actions today, the Republicans have made clear that is not their top priority constituency.

Tags: , , ,

Speaking of...

Comments (12)

Showing 1-12 of 12

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-12 of 12

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Consequences for violating the Freedom of Information Act

    I was happy to read in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette today that Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley intends to file a charge of violation of the Freedom of Information Act against Rodney Forte, director of the Metroopolitan Housing Agency of Little Rock. Prosecution might be the only cure for arrogant and stupid public officials, who aren't limited to the housing agency.
    • Oct 30, 2014
  • The Democratic push for black voter turnout unsettles white Republicans

    Democratic groups are using racially charged images to turn out the black votes, nationally and in Arkansas, and Republicans aren't happy about it. Truth hurts.
    • Oct 30, 2014
  • More »

Most Shared

  • Koch mailer: We know who you are, we know if you vote

    Still more complaints rolling in — including from Republicans — about the mail campaign of the Koch-brothers-funded Americans for Prosperity to scare people into voting.
  • Pat Hays' NRA membership riles Republicans

    Democratic 2nd District Congress candidate Pat Hays is causing conniption fits among Republicans because a new TV ad shows him with his guns and mentions his long-time membership in the National Rifle Association.
  • Talk is cheap; state government isn't: Preparing for the new GOP order

    The state looks at rising prison and school costs in a world where the theme of Republican political campaigns is reducing government and cutting taxes. Does anybody in that party know arithmetic?
  • Live Review: Nahko and Medicine for the People at Rev Room

    Thursday night, Portland, Oregon’s Nahko and Medicine for the People brought their “musical medicine” to Little Rock’s Revolution Music Room, a fitting venue for the socially-conscious music collective. Their uplifting medley of folk, urban and world music, as well as hypnotizing videos featuring their music have enchanted activist-minded music fans across the world in the relatively short time they have been creating music together.
  • What about the Arkansas ballot issues?

    To give the legislature more power, the people less, a wetter state, longer term limits and a bump in the minimum wage.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments



© 2014 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation