Governor Asa Hutchinson’s meager income tax relief bill has been filed in the Arkansas Senate and House of Representatives. What an embarrassment! The tax legislation is basically a pretense to be able to claim tax relief but hang on to the big pot of money from Asa’s tax increases and use the pot of money to grow government and to give money away to cronies. 2019 was a particularly bad year for tax increases outweighing tax cuts.
We have heard from legislators who are embarrassed Asa’s plan gives back so little in comparison to what has been taken from taxpayers, embarrassed much of the relief is being put off until after Asa is out of office, and embarrassed that the bill does so little that Arkansas will remain among the states with the highest taxes.
These legislators also know if they only pass Asa’s comparatively small tax plan, many of them will still have a record of voting for far more in tax increases than in tax relief and know their opponents can and will exploit their net tax increase record.
Some legislators are telling us, “We will just have to pass the Governor’s plan and when we have a new Governor in 2023 we will pass REAL tax relief.” All we can say is Arkansans’ better hope the next governor wants to slash taxes because if legislators can’t do what is right when facing a lame duck governor there is no way they will buck a new governor who wants to play the same “give some and take away more” game Asa has them playing.
What is wrong with our Republican majority in the Arkansas Senate and Arkansas House of Representatives? It doesn’t have to be Asa’s way or nothing! Why aren’t they fighting tooth and nail to propose better legislation, to amend Asa’s plan to give much more back sooner, to use every procedural tactic in the book to put a hold on Asa’s weak legislation until they can persuade enough Republicans to do what they promised – provide strong tax relief and eliminate wasteful spending.
The Republican Party Principle says, “Lower Taxes to Produce Economic Growth.” It doesn’t say “give a little back after increasing taxes.”
Call your state Senator and state Representative and tell them to quit playing along with the Governor, and instead pass strong tax relief legislation and reduce state government spending to make our state competitive.