Rep. Warwick Sabin pushes earned income tax credit; Sen. Jake Files backs 5-year sunset for tax exemptions | Arkansas Blog

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Rep. Warwick Sabin pushes earned income tax credit; Sen. Jake Files backs 5-year sunset for tax exemptions

Posted By on Sun, Jan 22, 2017 at 6:13 PM



Democratic Rep. Warwick Sabin and Republican Sen. Jake Files were on Talk Business talking taxes today.

Sabin is pushing the earned income tax credit as an alternative to Gov. Asa Hutchinson's proposed tax cut on low-income taxpayers. He offered three reasons for his approach (both passed out of committee last week). "The EITC is a much more targeted tax cut for the group that both the governor and I are trying to hit, which is low-income working Arkansans," Sabin said, adding that the credit would encourage work for this population. "Second, it's cheaper," he said, "because it's more efficient" (it's $40 million as opposed to $50.5 million for the governor's plan).

"Third, the EITC is a proven policy," Sabin said. "It's been in place at the federal level for several decades. It started with support from Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan. It was Ronald Reagan's favorite anti-poverty program and it's always had bipartisan support."

Sabin faces an uphill battle passing his bill out of the House, where some Republicans are narrowly focused on cutting rates and may see the more targeted nature of tax relief for the poor to be a bug rather than a feature.

"We just want to have a fair policy discussion," Sabin said. "I've made my case to the governor and I've made my case to the colleagues and we're going to continue to work on it." Sabin said that he was open to the governor's tax cut plan if the EITC failed but expressed hope that colleagues would see that the EITC was the more effective policy.

Files, the chair of the Senate Revenue and Tax committee, is a co-sponsor of Sabin's EITC bill but expressed skepticism that it would have enough support to pass in both chambers. "But I do think it's worth a debate," he said. He called it "a great policy for the state" and suggested that it would merit further discussion on the governor's proposed "Blue Ribbon" tax-cut task force.

Files, meanwhile, also said that he plans to propose a bill sunsetting tax exemptions and loopholes in the next five years. Such exemptions would have to be re-authorized by the legislature. "If you're getting an exemption than it ought to be worth something because it’s costing the state money and we’re actually taxing other people," Files said. "Hopefully we can close some of those loopholes, broaden the base and lower everyone’s tax burden in Arkansas."

Favorite

Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

More by David Ramsey

Readers also liked…

  • Among the last words from Kenneth Williams: 'Finger Lickin' Good Fried Chicken'

    What's purported to be a final-words essay from condemned prisoner Kenneth Williams was distributed today by Deborah Robinson, a freelance journalist in Arkansas.  He reflects on his execution, his victims, reactions of inmates and big servings of fried chicken, which he says are given to all inmates on execution days.
    • Apr 27, 2017
  • Trump tariffs hit farmers hard

    Well, the trade war has begun and the early returns for farmers are not good — sharp reductions in the prices for soybeans and corn. You may have heard that Arkansas, which overwhelmingly supported Donald Trump, has some agricultural interests, particularly in soybeans.
    • Jul 6, 2018
  • Police identify two women found fatally shot on Chicot Road

    Little Rock police have identified two women found dead of gunshot wounds in an SUV parked next to a vacant trailer in a mobile home park at 11500 Chicot Road.
    • May 16, 2017

Slideshows

  • Arkansas vs Ole Miss at War Memorial stadium in Little Rock, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. After leading for much of the game, Arkansas lost 37-33 when Ole Miss scored the game winning Touchdown with less that 2 minutes left. 
  • Margaret Clark Adventure Park
    New sculptures, preschoolers play area dedicated in Riverfront Park in Little Rock.

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation