The Arkansas legislature began pre-filing bills yesterday ahead of the 2019 legislative session that will begin January 14, 2019. On the first day of filing a Internet Sales Tax bill (HB1002) was filed by State Representative Dan Douglas. The bill mostly mirrors SB140 of 2017 that attempted to implement a new Internet Sales Tax in Arkansas last legislative session. The Arkansas Legislative Task Force recommended earlier this year to pass an Internet Sales Tax in the 2019 session and is supported by Gov. Asa Hutchinson.
There are no offsets in the filed legislation. There are also no directives, triggers, or other language in the filed legislation that would see the tax increase reduced elsewhere as has been proposed by some state lawmakers.
While last session this type of legislation was clearly unconstitutional, the U.S. Supreme Court opened the door this year with a new ruling upholding a bill similar to SB140 of 2017. While a state may impose this type of law, there is nothing requiring it. By not passing the law it would allow Arkansans to keep more of their own money. The end result of passing this legislation is to take more money from Arkansans and growing governments at the state, county, and local levels.
State Representative Dan Douglas won his primary in 2018 by just 12 votes after putting forward over $300 million in tax increase measures during the 2017 legislative session including a internet sales tax and gas tax hike proposal.
Other proposals filed on the first day include anti-abortion measures and making the shotgun the official gun of Arkansas. No bills to reduce the size and scope of government or reduce the regions highest tax rates were filed.