The New York Times documents the evolution of what is effectively a parallel tax system for the wealthiest Americans, who now pay a far smaller percentage of their incomes, on average, than they did twenty years ago. In 1992, the 400 highest earners in the U.S. paid about 27 percent of their income; in 2012, the figure was around 17 percent.
This report will go straight to the trash should any of the ruling Republicans see it, but for the record from the Brookings Institute — state income tax cuts are of little value in spurring economic growth. Where they've been tried and failed, the unavoidable need to raise revenue has produced — not a return to a progressive income tax — but regressive taxes that hit poor people hardest.
We’ve entered the WTF portion of bill filing. Here’s a strange one: a bill sponsored by Rep. Andy Davis to exempt baked goods sold for “off-premises consumption" from being subject to the A&P tax (the hamburger tax). It passed out of Revenue and Tax yesterday. Huh?
Rep. Warwick Sabin's bill to offer tax credits to low-income, working Arkansans failed to advance from the House Committee on Revenue and Taxation on a voice vote this morning. The Working Families Opportunities Act would have corrected one of the great injustices of this legislative session: With the restoration of the capital gains tax cut and Gov. Hutchinson's middle-class tax cut, everyone is getting a tax cut except for the working poor.
The House Committee on Revenue and Taxation will take up Rep. Warwick Sabin's bill this morning to offer tax credits to low-income Arkansans. The Working Families Opportunities Act (WFOA) would give additional relief to 279,000 working Arkansans who already qualify for the federal Earned Income Tax Credit: the state would fund a tax credit amounting to an additional 1.25 percent of the EITC amount received in 2016, 2.5 percent in 2017, and 5 percent in 2018.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed his promised tax cut package into law this morning with a bipartisan group of dozens of legislators in attendance. It caps quite a week for the governor, in which the two biggest pieces of legislation the session is likely to see — the tax bill and the private option — were approved by the General Assembly by wide margins and sent to his desk.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson's $100 million income tax bill came out of Senate committee this morning with an amendment on the capital gains tax cut passed in 2013. Note, too, a break Hutchinson's plan contains for working couples against higher-income families with single wage earners.
The poorer you are, the harder state and local tax burdens hit Arkansas taxpayers. And Gov. Asa Hutchinson's tax-cut plan won't do much to ameliorate that, giving no benefits at all to the bottom 40 percent of Arkansas taxpayers.
Ledbetter, the former state Board of Education chair who cast the decisive vote in 2015 to take over the LRSD, writes that Education Commissioner Johnny Key "has shown time and again that he is out of touch with our community and the needs of the district." However, Ledbetter supports the May 9 vote as a positive for the district's students and staff.
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.
Kenneth Williams, 38, is scheduled to be executed at 7 p.m. tonight at the Cummins Unit near Grady. If a court does not stop the execution, he will be the fourth death row prisoner to die over the last eight days in Arkansas.
Photos taken Thursday night by Brian Chilson and David Koon, at Cummins Prison in Grady, the State Police barricade away from the prison and in front of the Governor's Mansion, before and after the execution of Ledell Lee.