Arkansas legislature fails to address tax fairness; poor soaked again | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Arkansas legislature fails to address tax fairness; poor soaked again

Posted By on Tue, Oct 22, 2013 at 9:28 AM

click to enlarge aacfreport.png
The 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.

Here's the report: "A Better Foundation: Building a Tax System that Works for Ordinary Families."

There is no well-financed lobby for ordinary Arkansans.

Said the Advocates' director, Rich Huddleston:

... tax changes passed during the 2013 session con­sisted largely of personal income tax cuts benefiting upper-income taxpayers and sales and use tax cuts targeted to specific industry groups. ... [the changes] did little to improve overall tax fairness for low- and middle-income families; resulted in flat or underfunding for certain critical services for children and families in the short term; and further undermined an already strained base for funding future services that are critical to the state’s needs.\

In four words:

The rich get richer.

Yes, there was a modest potential cut in the tax on groceries if the creek don't rise. But the bottom 40 percent will  see little or nothing from income tax and capital gains tax cuts. (That capital gains tax will be an enormous windfall for a handful of the unimaginably wealthy.) Result, said Huddleston:

Already, the bottom 40 percent of taxpayers have a state and local tax burden (twelve percent of their income) that is twice that of the richest one percent (who pay only six percent of their incomes in state and local taxes).

You'd think Huddleston didn't know that was the idea. Trickle-down, see?

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