Tax cut deal cooking | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Tax cut deal cooking

Posted By on Thu, Mar 17, 2011 at 10:52 AM

I continue to receive assurances that the House-Senate divide on tax cuts has been resolved. A Senate committee meeting may be called today to begin the rollout of the $35 million package.

Gov. Mike Beebe gets his grocery tax cut. The correction of an income tax break for working poor heads of household will pass. The Senate had been holding up this House bill. Life will be blown into the school sales tax holiday, another House bill that had been defeated in the Senate. The manufacturers utility sales tax break and Sen. Gilbert Baker's reduction in the used car sales tax also will be adopted. The size of the utility tax break — or perhaps the exempt level on used car sales tax sales — may be reduced a bit to keep the total cutting within acceptable limits. I still wish the utility tax cut would not provide a bonanza to power producers who burn natural gas, but they pass around more campaign contributions than I do.

Yes. The Shiite Republican caucus' blockade of appropriation bills as a sign of displeasure at Senate treatment of House tax breaks played a role in the resolution of events.

VIDEO NOTE: Gerard here. My apologies for the audio. The Capitol is the worst place to do interviews. Stick with it. You'll hear Baker describe the tax deal including [not many] details on how they'll pay for it. State employees might not see the raise Beebe initially expected. "It's hard for me to see that everyone's gong to get a pay increase," Baker said.

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