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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 17:10:00

The lobbying effort to stop Tax Day from being easier for taxpayers

I wrote last week the fact that the IRS could easily auto-prepare personal income taxes for American taxpayers. Auto-preparation could would save Americans $2 billion in tax preparation fees per year and 225 million hours per year in time spent preparing our taxes. But tax preparers like TurboTax make big profits off of the current hassle and form an unholy lobbying alliance with anti-tax crusaders like Grover Norquist, who want who want taxes to be as annoying as possible so that people will be more likely to oppose taxes. A great piece in ProPublica does some digging on this scandalous lobby's efforts at an astroturf campaign against a simpler filing system, and reports that a lobbying group linked to Intuit, the maker of TurboTax, is involved in trying to encourage community leaders to write Op-eds and letters to Congress (all of them remarkably similar in content and language), claiming that "return-free filing" would hurt the poor.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 14:25:00

Low-income Arkansans pay higher proportion of their income in state and local taxes than the rich do

Here's another Tax Day chart, via Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families. When you factor in the impact of sales taxes, the lowest-income Arkansans pay a larger share of their income in state and local taxes than the super-rich do. Here's their full report on this subject, from October. In related news, also worth checking out their report on income inequality in the state from last February.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 08:28:00

Putting U.S. taxes in perspective

The folks at are celebrating Tax Day with charts and graphs! Above, taxes as a percentage of gross domestic product since 1965. Meanwhile, they also feature charts showing that income individual taxes in the U.S. are about average as a percentage of GDP compared to other nations measured by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), whereas corporate taxes are below average.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 07:20:00

Organizations rally for tax fairness at Capitol

Representatives from Women's Action for New Directions (WAND) and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), along with other local organizations, will speak on tax and budget fairness at a rally at the Capitol today at noon. The event, part of a series called "Truthful Tuesdays" coincides with the income tax deadline today.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - 15:19:00

A tale of two states: Texas and Arkansas and the shale boom

Smart money says the Republican majority will override Gov. Mike Beebe's veto of a tax break on sand used in fracking for gas and oil. It's clearly an unconstitutional measure because it didn't get the two-thirds vote necessary to consider non-fiscal items in a budget session. But it's also bad policy and a sweetheart deal.

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Tuesday, March 4, 2014 - 12:49:00

February state tax take below forecast

February as another month of mixed results on state revenue, though the total still came in ahead of last year. The key monthly numbers, including poor results on sales taxes:

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wednesday, February 26, 2014 - 10:05:00

Corporate tax rates don't necessarily mean big tax bills

A new report from the Citizens for Tax Justice of the country's biggest corporations shows that many don't pay anything like the top 35 percent corporate income tax rate. Many pay nothing at all.

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Friday, January 3, 2014

Friday, January 3, 2014 - 09:56:00

State revenue continues ahead of last year, near forecast target

The state report on tax revenue in December shows gross and net revenue for the month just about on target with the forecast, up about 3 percent over last year.

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Monday, December 16, 2013

Monday, December 16, 2013 - 06:54:00

Legislature needs remedial arithmetic

News this morning that legislators are proudly touting a new law that will take away college lottery scholarship funding from students who don't take the Smart Core curriculum is somewhat paradoxically paired with this report from Stephens Media:

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Monday, November 4, 2013

Monday, November 4, 2013 - 09:36:00

State revenue exceeded forecast in October

Four months into the year and the state has piled up more than $37 million in net revenue beyond the forecast.

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Saturday, November 2, 2013

Saturday, November 2, 2013 - 07:10:00

There are no bad years for the super rich

Interesting reading in the New York Times this morning from James Stewart, who reviews IRS data on 2009, a bad year in the stock market but not a bad year for the 400 highest earning U.S. taxpayers.

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Friday, November 1, 2013

Friday, November 1, 2013 - 11:02:00

Investigation of Blytheville failure to remit taxes closed without charges

Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington of Jonesboro said he'd concluded a nearly year-long review of the city of Blytheville's failure to pay $2 millioni n tax withholdings without finding evidence of criminal w

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - 09:28:00

Arkansas legislature fails to address tax fairness; poor soaked again

Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families has issued a report underscoring the usual — tax policy in Arkansas favors the rich and does little for the poor.

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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Thursday, October 10, 2013 - 11:05:00

Supreme Court upholds class action suit over taxing hotel reservation services

The Arkansas Supreme Court today upheld a lower court's certification of a class action suit against 

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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Wednesday, October 2, 2013 - 09:51:00

Arkanas tax revenues continue upward trend in September

The September report on state tax revenue continues to show a strengthening economy, with revenue up against both last year and the forecast.

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - 13:31:00

Restaurant owner Mark Abernathy objects to Robinson renovation tax plan

Restaurant owner/chef Mark Abernathy (Loca Luna, Red Door) is up in arms about the proposal pending before the Little Rock City Board of Directors to call an election on issuing $73 million in bonds to pay for a renovation of Robinson Center.

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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sunday, September 22, 2013 - 11:36:00

Money walks — the flight to suburbs and more prosperous regions. Is it tax policy? Or something else?

Here's something fun to noodle with if you have a time. A Jefferson County native was fascinated with this website, How Money Walks, and I agree there's some interesting stuff here.

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Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday, September 13, 2013 - 07:50:00

The Baton Rouge morning line; how the Waltons get richer through estate tax loopholes

As Lindsey mentioned I'm on the road, currently in muggy Baton Rouge, where a morning stroll took me past Huey Long and his monumnent.

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - 06:47:00

The cost of tax cuts: What happens in Kansas doesn't stay in Kansas

We have seen the future and it is Kansas and Missouri. Kansas, with unified Republican legislature and governor, has embarked on a spree of ultra-right legislating, including massive tax cuts.

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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Wednesday, September 4, 2013 - 09:57:00

State tax revenue ahead of forecast in August

The August numbers on state tax revenue again topped both last year and the forecast.

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  • As part of Ball State University's BSU at the Games, Arkansas Times photo intern Matt Amaro covered the culture of Sochi during the Winter Olympics.

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