State embarks on tax study; reality will soon intervene | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, March 15, 2012

State embarks on tax study; reality will soon intervene

Posted By on Thu, Mar 15, 2012 at 7:09 AM

LEADS TAX STUDY: Rep. Davy Carter. Reality will eventually set in.
  • LEADS TAX STUDY: Rep. Davy Carter. Reality will eventually set in.
Talk Business reports on the expanding agenda of Rep. Davy Carter's plan to hold legislative hearings on every aspect of the Arkansas tax code, beginning with exemptions. On his Republican side of the aisle, the general goal is to cut taxes, of course. How to do that without wrecking government services is always the hard part.

But here's another thing. A fair and thorough study — and I think Carter will do one — is going to reach the same conclusion that experts have found about the federal tax code. Teabaggers may think we cosset the welfare class with government programs. But when you put the pencil to all the numbers, you find that corporate giveaways are far, far more costly than the hated welfare spending. We have too many federal tax breaks, as this thoughtful column illustrates.

Same thing in Arkansas. Every gaping exemption in our tax code is the product of an interest group. Take the sales tax exemption on advertising, for example. You'd need War Memorial Stadium to hold the radio, TV, newspaper, ad agency and other moguls who'd line up to fight removal of THIS exemption. (I've never opposed ending the exemption, by the way.)

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