Poll finds broad support for state Earned Income Tax Credit, afterschool and summer programs | Arkansas Blog

Monday, April 16, 2018

Poll finds broad support for state Earned Income Tax Credit, afterschool and summer programs

Posted By on Mon, Apr 16, 2018 at 10:42 AM

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A new poll finds that Arkansans broadly support a state-level Earned Income Tax Credit, which would reduce tax liability on low- and moderate-income working people. It's historically been viewed, by both parties, as one of the most effective tax credits for providing a ladder out of poverty. Many states have their own EITCs to complement the federal EITC.

The polling was conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research and commissioned by Arkansas Advocates for Children & Families, long a champion for a state-level EITC.

The release of the poll results comes on tax day — in Arkansas at least; the recognition of Emancipation Day in Washington D.C. gives you one more day on your federal return — and also amid meetings by the legislative "Tax Reform and Relief" task force, which plans to unveil recommendations for tax cuts ahead of the 2019 legislative session. Governor Hutchinson has already said he wants to reduce the top marginal income tax rate, which would amount to a $180 million cut in state revenues.

Last year, Advocates explained how a cut Governor Hutchinson promoted as aimed at low- to middle earners was more expensive to the state and less effective at helping low earners than an EITC would have been. Rep. Warwick Sabin (D-Little Rock) unsuccessfully pushed for a state-level EITC in the last general session.

Other results from the poll:

More than three out of four (79%) Arkansans – including 79% of independents and 72% of Republicans – support enacting a state-level Earned Income Tax Credit, a tax cut targeted to low- and moderate-income working people.

Three out of four (76%) want Arkansas to invest in afterschool and summer programs across the state.

About two out of three (67%) Arkansans support increasing state funding for pre-kindergarten.

About two out of three (65%) Arkansans oppose cuts to Medicaid funding.

When asked which is better for the state, Arkansans strongly prefer investing in programs that benefit many (51%) over cutting taxes for wealthier families (33%).   
Here's a handy visual of the poll results.

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