Bragging on the 2021 income tax cut without taking responsibility for passing huge tax increases in 2019 and previous years is like a robber wanting praise for handing back your empty wallet.
Politicians in the Arkansas legislature ALWAYS run on “I cut taxes,” even if they raised taxes far more than they cut.
Arkansas legislators running for re-election or for another office are listing as an accomplishment “passing the largest tax cut in history.” Largest? Well, first consider that while the legislation passed late in 2021 did make immediate cuts in income tax, they are also claiming cuts scheduled in future years that won’t come into effect unless certain economic conditions are met first. Also consider that the current wave of inflation will lower the actual value of future cuts.
That said, we are always happy with tax cuts and we are particularly relieved the Arkansas legislature made it through 2021 passing tax cuts without also passing tax increases. Passing tax increases along with tax cuts has been the norm since 2015. And that brings us to our focus for today: Legislators who picked our pockets in 2019 and who are now bragging about giving some of it back.
MOST Arkansas legislators who are bragging on the 2021 tax cut don’t want you to remember they voted for huge tax increases in 2019.
Not every legislator is responsible for the huge 2019 increases:
- A few legislators who served in 2019 did not vote for any tax increase or only voted for one of the minor taxes. They should be congratulated.
- Some current legislators were not in the legislature in 2019 and they should be congratulated for there 2021 vote.
THE 2019 TAX INCREASES
The 2019 legislature passed far more in tax increases than in cuts.
The most notable tax increase was the Internet Sales Tax paid by Arkansas consumers on out-of-state purchases. Government officials lowballed the estimates of how much tax money it would take out of the pockets of Arkansans but in a short time admitted it appeared to be twice the estimate and we think it now far exceeds even that. Obviously, the Internet Sales Tax contributed to the state of Arkansas accumulating a billion dollar surplus in general revenues in the fiscal year ending last June.
And then there was the gas and diesel fuel tax increase (which includes automatic increases in the future). As you pay the astronomical prices for gas in the Biden economy, what do you think about Arkansas politicians having piled on to keep the cost of fuel high?
The 2019 legislature wasn’t through with tax increases. There was also a cell phone bill tax increase, a tax increase on water bills, a tax increase on tobacco products and e-cigarettes, and the legislature put on the ballot a ½ percent sales tax for roads and highways to replace the tax scheduled to expire.
The 2019 Senate also passed a bill to impose even more taxes to fund a redistribution of wealth but fortunately the bill died in the House without a vote.
WHO PICKED YOUR POCKET IN 2019?
A very large majority of the Senators and Representatives in 2019 voted for multiple tax increases. Only a few voted against every tax or only voted for one of the more minor tax increases.
Below are links to charts showing how the legislators voted on legislation to increase taxes in 2019. Some of the legislators listed are no longer in the legislature and some are not running for any political office in 2022. But if a legislator from your area is running for election you can easily check to see how the legislator voted in 2019 (assuming the legislator was in office then).
Check the list to see whether the candidate should be bragging on the 2021 income tax cuts or apologizing for raising your taxes in 2019 and not doing more to give your money back.