Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Hell with books, the rich need a tax cut

Posted By on Tue, Mar 31, 2015 at 10:51 AM

CUTS TO CALS: When it comes to choosing between capital gains tax cuts and public libraries in Arkansas, guess who loses? - BRIAN CHILSON
  • BRIAN CHILSON
  • CUTS TO CALS: When it comes to choosing between capital gains tax cuts and public libraries in Arkansas, guess who loses?

In its wisdom, the 90th General Assembly has decided that tax breaks for the rich are more important than literacy. The legislature has cut state library funding by 18 percent, or around $1 million, to help pay for a tax break on capital gains from 30 percent to 50 percent (and to zero on gains more than $10 million). Hell, we don't need no free book readin' and learnin' in Arkansas.  

The decision to grant the capital gains break added insult to injury anyway, since the planned cut (which was originally passed back in 2013) was repealed at the first of the session to pay for Gov. Asa Hutchinson's $102 million tax break for the middle class. Once that middle class tax cut — which, by the way, didn't help at all the 40 percent of Arkansans who make less than $21,000 a year — was in the bag, the legislature said just kidding and restored the capital gains tax cut.

The cut will cost the Central Arkansas Library System about $105,000, director Bobby Roberts says, which in the scheme of things isn't a terrible blow. But it will hurt smaller Arkansas libraries who rely on state funds to operate. Roberts called it "a sad day for the public library movement and for those counties that desperately need support from the state."

An article in the Baxter Bulletin gives an example of what Roberts is talking about: The Donald W. Reynolds Library in Mountain Home, with a budget of $84,500, is losing $15,210. "That's a significant amount of money to have to make up when you're not expecting it," library director Gwen Khayat is quoted as saying. 

State library aid was to remain stable at $5.7 million, according to the original budget, State Library Director Carolyn Ashcraft told the Baxter Bulletin. But the Revenue Stabilization Act, released Friday, showed the funding cut. Community health centers were also cut. The RSA cut most state agency budgets by 1 percent. 

Maybe lawmakers will take the $20 million in pork they're getting and give it to their districts' libraries. You think?

UPDATE: The RSA puts the $1 million the libraries are losing into the governor's rainy day fund, which can address problems that might arise. Also going into the rainy day fund to help pay for the capital gains tax cut: $2.5 million for the Arkansas Science and Technology Authority (which had increased that amount in the last budget for the Accelerate Arkansas grant), $4.9 million from the state Health Department's community health centers and $1 million out of Aging and Adult Services.


Tags: , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (14)

Showing 1-14 of 14

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-14 of 14

Add a comment

More by Leslie Newell Peacock

  • Waltons top list of state givers

    No surprise here, but the Chronicle of Philanthropy reports that the names of the top givers in Arkansas are Walton and Walton — Jim and Robson, that is.
    • Jun 20, 2017
  • LR gets $1.6 million for River Trail ramp and fix

    The city of Little Rock got word today that it will receive $1.6 million in a Federal Lands Access Program (FLAP) grant to build a ramp to the $1.1 million bridge it's building over the railroad tracks at the western end of the Medical Mile, which begins in Riverfront Park and ends at the tracks abutting the Dillard's headquarters. (The bridge is being built with a state grant of $1 million and sales tax revenues.)
    • Jun 16, 2017
  • Agave Grill: Mexican-American fusion in Benton

    Agave Grill will feature “Mexican-American fusion” cuisine — that is, it will have Mexican dishes like handmade pork tamales, enchiladas, “street tacos,” fajitas and tortas; American favorites like ribeye and New York strip steaks, ahi tuna and salmon; and the fused: you’ll be able to order a hamburger made with taco seasoning, queso and avocado, for example, or a steak rubbed with ancho chili.
    • Jun 14, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

  • Hutchinson lobbyist moves to Teacher Retirement System

    Rett Hatcher, director of legislative affairs for Gov. Asa Hutchinson, has left the governor's staff to go to work Wednesday as deputy director of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System.
  • Obamascare

    Republicans at long last may be about to see their most fervent wishes and wildest predictions materialize — millions of people losing their medical and hospital coverage, unaffordable insurance, lost jobs, a Medicare financial crisis, mushrooming federal budget deficits and fiscal crises across state governments.
  • Megyn vs. Alex

    As vigorously hyped broadcast events go, Megyn Kelly's televised confrontation with internet conspiracy cultist Alex Jones proved something of a dud.
  • Monkey wrenches

    Junior is 17 now, and shows no interest in driving, or even taking the driving test. It's got his Old Man a little concerned, and not just because we're running a car service for one these days.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

Slideshows

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation