Bill to exempt tax on military benefits amended; digital download tax replaces mobile home tax as pay-for | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Bill to exempt tax on military benefits amended; digital download tax replaces mobile home tax as pay-for

Posted By on Wed, Jan 25, 2017 at 11:08 AM

As expected, the governor's plan to create a tax exemption for veterans' retirement pay was amended yesterday, with a new pay-for: a tax on digital downloads.

Governor Asa Hutchinson
's original proposal for the $13 million tax cut for veterans and their surviving spouses involved removing exemptions on unemployment compensation and the sales of mobile homes, and increasing the sales tax on candy and soft drinks.

However, removing the sales tax exemption on mobile homes proved politically untenable. Instead, the bill will include a new tax on digital downloads to make up the needed revenue.

"There's been a lot of support for the bill but obviously the manufactured housing gave a lot of people some pause," explained Sen. Jake Files, chair of the Senate Revenue and Tax Committee, on Talk Business over the weekend. So they went looking for a revenue source to keep the overall package revenue neutral, Files said (worth noting that the bill's package still includes $6.3 million giveaway to the soft drink industry via a reduction in the wholesale-level tax on soft drink syrup).

“There’s a carve-out for digital downloads that just deals with CDs, books, and movies — so when you walk into Wal-Mart or Best Buy you’re going to pay tax on those things," Files told Talk Business. "If you download them, you don’t. This just brings equity to those two things, but it should bring the bill in line. And I think once we get this thing fixed next week, I think you’ll see smooth passage.”

I haven't seen any revenue estimates for the digital download tax but presumably it's approximately equivalent to the $2.1 million that would have been raised via ending the sales tax exemption on mobile homes.

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (11)

Showing 1-11 of 11

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-11 of 11

Add a comment

More by David Ramsey

Readers also liked…

  • Judge anticipates punishment of lawyers in Fort Smith class action case

    Federal Judge P.K. Holmes of Fort Smith issued a 32-page ruling yesterday indicating he contemplates punishment of 16 lawyers who moved a class action lawsuit against an insurance company out of his court to a state court in Polk County after a settlement had been worked out.
    • Apr 15, 2016
  • Trump immigration protest at LR: Quick and fierce

    It was not even 24 hours ago that Sophia Said, director of the Interfaith Center; City Director Kathy Webb and others decided to organize a protest today of Donald Trump's executive order that has left people from Muslim countries languishing in airports or unable to come to the US at all — people with visas, green cards,a  post-doc graduate student en route to Harvard, Google employees abroad, families. I got the message today before noon; others didn't find out until it was going on. But however folks found out, they turned out in huge numbers, more than thousand men, women and children, on the grounds of the state Capitol to listen to speakers from all faiths and many countries.
    • Jan 29, 2017
  • Saturday's open line

    Got any thoughts? Put them here.
    • May 21, 2016

Most Shared

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments



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