Moore on tax cuts, severance tax | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Moore on tax cuts, severance tax

Posted By on Thu, Mar 3, 2011 at 5:45 PM

Speaker Robert Moore held his weekly press Q and A session this afternoon after the House concluded its business. Moore took questions on the three tax cut bills that stalled out in the House this morning and talked about Sheffield Nelson's plan to boost the severance tax on natural gas. Check out the video above, but here are some highlights:

When asked about the approach of some House Republicans who have said they will vote no on all appropriations bills that have spending increases, Moore said:

“Obviously, the way we pass our appropriation bills, with the 75 percent requirement, if there is some unrelenting adamancy in there, yeah, it could grind us to a halt at some point in time. I think the thinking of the majority — and not just the majority party, but the majority that’s voted so far on the bills that have failed to come out of the House — that majority is reflective of the prevailing will of our constituents and the prevailing will of how we proceed with efficient and effective government. And the majority is of the mind that we won’t be controlled by the minority, if that occasion should occur.”

In terms of finding a funding stream for roads and highways, Moore was asked if voters were more likely to side with Sheffield Nelson’s proposal, which would increase the severance tax on natural gas companies, or a plan that he’s floated, which would include a half cent sales tax increase and a five cent diesel tax. Moore gave a long answer, but ultimately admitted, “Yeah, I think Sheffield’s probably right, given that choice.” Moore said there might still be a legislative fix to the severance that would bring the effective tax rate up to 5 percent instead of the 1.6 it amounted to last year. If that's the case, someone will have to move pretty quickly. The deadline to file bills is Monday.

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