State of Arkansas Archives: on Tax Reform


Tim Griffin: Eliminating state income tax should be our goal

Eliminating the income tax won't be easy, and it won't happen overnight. It could take 10 years or possibly even longer. How long it will take to achieve this goal will depend on a number of factors, including our rate of economic growth and our commitment to spending discipline and reform of state government. We must be responsible and do it in a way that protects funding for essential government services, especially for our most vulnerable citizens. But this goal should be our North Star.
Source: Arkansas Times on 2022 Arkansas Gubernatorial race Nov 22, 2020

Dan Whitfield: Close loopholes for wealthy; lower taxes for working class

Corporations are getting away with paying little to no taxes. While corporations are skating by taxes, billionaires are also dodging them. We need to close the loopholes that allow the rich to avoid paying their fair share. What we need to do is enforce taxes on those avoiding them, then lower taxes for the working class.
Source: 2020 Arkansas Senate campaign website DanWhitCongress.us Jun 8, 2020

Asa Hutchinson: 2-4-5.9 plan: flatten & simplify rates, to spur growth

While I wanted to flatten the rate for all taxpayers to 5.9 percent over the next 4 years, the task force said we should simplify the rate structure and raise the standard deduction for all taxpayers. The result is a plan that we call the 2-4-5.9 plan. It will set Arkansas on a path to be competitive with our surrounding states; to attract new investments and talent in our state; and to continue our vigorous economic growth. We will work with you so that no taxpayer will see any tax increase.
Source: 2019 State of the State address to the Arkansas legislature Jan 15, 2019

Jared Henderson: Fight against raising grocery tax, to protect families

I'm glad to hear Gov. Hutchinson finally broke his silence on this as the Republican-controlled General Assembly has tossed around the idea of increasing the grocery tax for the past month. Raising the grocery tax should never even be up for discussion and you can bet I'd fight any attempt, from day one, to raise this tax that hits our working families the hardest. Henderson had issued a press release slamming Hutchinson for failing to speak out against the possibility of raising the grocery tax.
Source: Arkansas Times on 2018 Arkansas Gubernatorial race May 4, 2018

Mark West: Lower taxes on everyone

Q: Do you support or oppose the statement, "Higher taxes on the wealthy"?

A: Oppose because we need lower taxes on everyone and the accompanying spending cuts. Government can and should be voluntarily funded.

Source: OnTheIssues interview of 2018 Arkansas governor candidate Apr 28, 2018

Asa Hutchinson: Tax cuts attract keep veterans in state

[In the last year's legislative session], we also worked to cut taxes, and we did--in historic fashion. We have reduced the state income tax by more than $150 million each year. We also passed Act 141, legislation that exempts the retirement pay of veterans from the state income tax. And we are already seeing results. One such example is retired Col. and Iowa native Mike Kirby, who, after 26 years in the Air Force, chose to move to Arkansas and start a business because of our commitment to the military community. Another example is Adam and Brittany Boccher, who've decided to remain in Arkansas after Adam retires from the Air Force because we passed this law.
Source: 2018 Arkansas State of the State address Feb 12, 2018

Asa Hutchinson: Tax cuts keep Arkansas competitive : cut from 6.9% to 6%

I showcased Arkansas before the Editorial Board of the Wall Street Journal. One of the editors asked me what our top marginal tax rate was in Arkansas. When I said it was 6.9%, the response was: "That's worse than Connecticut." Today, I'm announcing my specific goal for the state. My objective has always been to lower the overall income tax rate in Arkansas, and that priority has never changed. Today, I'm proposing that we cut Arkansas's top tax rate from 6.9% to 6% when we all meet again next year.
Source: 2018 Arkansas State of the State address Feb 12, 2018

Jared Henderson: Supports the Republican low and middle class income tax cuts

Henderson said he supports the state's hybrid Medicaid expansion, which uses federal funds to purchase private insurance for low-income residents. But he stopped short of saying whether he supports the restrictions Gov. Hutchinson has asked the federal government to impose that would move 60K off the program and impose a work requirement on some. He also said he supports the low- and middle-income tax cuts Hutchinson advocated for and signed into law, but said he'd be cautious about any further cuts.
Source: Times-Record on 2018 Arkansas Governor race Dec 12, 2017

Conner Eldridge: Lower taxes for families and small businesses

Reignite Arkansas's Economy: we're going to reform the tax code and lower taxes for families and small businesses; negotiate fairer trade deals that keep jobs here at home; fight for a higher minimum wage; and strengthen Arkansas's infrastructure, including highways, waterways and broadband internet.
Source: 2016 Senate campaign website, ConnerForArkansas.com Aug 31, 2016

Curtis Coleman: Simple Flat Tax plan: 10% for all personal income tax

Americans are overtaxed. I support Ted Cruz's Simple Flat Tax plan. From Senator Cruz's website: "Under the Simple Flat Tax, the current seven rates of personal income tax will collapse into a single low rate of 10 percent. For a family of four, the first $36,000 will be tax-free. The Child Tax Credit will remain in place. The IRS will cease to exist as we know it, there will be zero targeting of individuals based on their faith or political beliefs, and there will be no way for thousands of agents to manipulate the system. For businesses, the corporate income tax will be eliminated. It will be replaced by a simple Business Flat Tax at a single 16 percent rate. The current payroll tax system will be abolished, while maintaining full funding for Social Security and Medicare."
Source: 2016 Arkansas Senate campaign website, CurtisColeman.com Nov 11, 2015

French Hill: We need a simple fair tax code instead of wet blanket

Our economy remains adrift, wages are flat, ObamaCare is not working, and businesses face so much uncertainty. Americans have little faith in Washington. Sadly, opportunities are slipping away for future generations because of anti-business regulations and job-killing policies. The current administration has only made things worse.

We must demand accountability and simplicity at every level of the federal government. That starts by repealing the endless regulations, mandates and taxes that saddle Arkansas small businesses. We have a federal tax code that is madly complex. We need a simple, clear, fairer tax code. Manufacturers need certainty and relief so they can to grow, expand, and add jobs.

In short, we must completely overhaul the federal government's wet blanket that is holding our nation back. Hardworking Americans and entrepreneurs need an ally--not an enemy--in Washington.

Source: 2014 Arkansas House campaign website, ElectFrench.com Nov 4, 2014

Nathan LaFrance: Replace income tax with national sales tax

Nathan will draft and promote legislation to:
  1. COMPLETELY REPEAL the ENTIRE current federal tax code.
  2. IMMEDIATELY implement a FLAT TAX on personal and corporate income, effective 1/1/15. Every American individual and business will pay this fixed tax rate; no more loopholes, tax shelters, etc.
  3. Implement a NATIONAL SALES TAX to replace ALL income taxes, by 1/1/18. Nathan believes that we should reward productive work in any way we can, and we can do that by not taxing it. By moving to a national sales tax, we will only pay taxes on what we consume, which means our hard work and savings will NOT BE TAXED.
Source: 2014 Arkansas Senate campaign website, LaFrance2014.com Sep 30, 2014

Asa Hutchinson: Don't raise any taxes, while reducing individual tax rate

A debate question for the men: "What taxes would you raise or eliminate?"

Hutchinson: Won't raise any tax. Reduce individual income tax. Start with middle income folks who have been squeezed. My plan is prudent. Ross plan costs 6x's my plan.

Gilbert: Don't raise any tax. Eliminate individual income tax as soon as possible. Do away with corporate welfare. Eliminate any boards that can't justify existence. No income tax is fair to everybody. Eliminates need for minimum wage because everybody gets a raise.

Ross: Support lower tax rates. Nothing fair about tax rates. Will make changes just like Beebe did with grocery tax.

Drake: Those who make more should pay more in taxes to eliminate sales tax across state. Minimum wage needs to be raised.

Source: Arkansas Matters blog on 2014 AR gubernatorial race Jul 11, 2014

Frank Gilbert: Don't raise any taxes, and eliminate income tax

A debate question for the men: "What taxes would you raise or eliminate?"

Hutchinson: Won't raise any tax. Reduce individual income tax. Start with middle income folks who have been squeezed. My plan is prudent. Ross plan costs 6x's my plan.

Gilbert: Don't raise any tax. Eliminate individual income tax as soon as possible. Do away with corporate welfare. Eliminate any boards that can't justify existence. No income tax is fair to everybody. Eliminates need for minimum wage because everybody gets a raise.

Ross: Support lower tax rates. Nothing fair about tax rates. Will make changes just like Beebe did with grocery tax.

Drake: Those who make more should pay more in taxes to eliminate sales tax across state. Minimum wage needs to be raised.

Source: Arkansas Matters blog on 2014 AR gubernatorial race Jul 11, 2014

Mike Ross: I support lower tax rates

A debate question for the men: "What taxes would you raise or eliminate?"

Hutchinson: Won't raise any tax. Reduce individual income tax. Start with middle income folks who have been squeezed. My plan is prudent. Ross plan costs 6x's my plan.

Gilbert: Don't raise any tax. Eliminate individual income tax as soon as possible. Do away with corporate welfare. Eliminate any boards that can't justify existence. No income tax is fair to everybody. Eliminates need for minimum wage because everybody gets a raise.

Ross: Support lower tax rates. Nothing fair about tax rates. Will make changes just like Beebe did with grocery tax.

Drake: Those who make more should pay more in taxes to eliminate sales tax across state. Minimum wage needs to be raised.

Source: Arkansas Matters blog on 2014 AR gubernatorial race Jul 11, 2014

Asa Hutchinson: Tax reduction will spur job growth

Asa Hutchinson released his plan for income tax reduction: "My number one priority as Governor will be job creation. One way to spur job growth is through tax reduction. Tax cuts are an effective method to spur economic growth."

Asa's press release sounded like a Bush campaign speech and contained the same promises made by Bush and all Republican candidates for the past 80 years. This should not be a surprise because Asa served 5 years as one of Bush's most trusted official.

Source: The Sun Times on 2014 Arkansas Governor's race Dec 6, 2013

Mike Beebe: Cut regressive grocery sales tax now; eliminate it later

My proposed budget sets aside a relatively small amount of money for tax relief to continue attacking the sales tax on groceries. A half-cent cut is not much. I'd like to do more. But it is the most broad-based tax relief we can offer to our citizens a this time, and it shows our continued commitment and dedication to eliminating this regressive tax.

Beyond that, I don't see any room for additional tax cuts or significant increases in program funding. If we are to retain the enviable national position we now hold, we must remain cautious & conservative. If you make a proposal that seeks to cut revenue or increase spending, the only responsible approach is to state precisely where that money is coming from. If the proposal calls for a tax cut then it is only fair to detail exactly which existing programs you will cut to offset that loss in funding. Abstract claims of hypothetical future growth don't change the immediate impact that a tax cut will have on state revenues and state services.

Source: 2011 Arkansas State of the State Address Jan 11, 2011

Blanche Lambert Lincoln: Extend tax cuts for low and middle income

When it comes to taxes, the candidates had a different take on how to handle tax cuts. "I definitely support extending the tax cuts that have been given to the low and middle income folks because I think they are the ones that will spend that money," Lincoln says.
Source: Today's THV coverage of 2010 Arkansas Senate debate Oct 13, 2010

John Boozman: Support the FairTax; abolish the Internal Revenue Service

The debate focused on Boozman's support of the fair tax and abolishment of the Internal Revenue Service, Lincoln's health care vote and talking points from both sides about the deficit. Lincoln touted her position as chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee. Boozman argued against earmarks.
Source: Politics Daily coverage of 2010 Arkansas Senate Debate Sep 11, 2010

Blanche Lambert Lincoln: The ultrawealthy should not receive tax cuts

The two disagreed over the tax cuts that were instituted under former President George W. Bush, with Lincoln calling for extending the cuts for low to moderate income taxpayers.

Lincoln, however, said that extending the tax cuts for the wealthy should only be done if it can be paid for. "The ultrawealthy, I do not think should receive that tax cut unless it is paid for in a responsible way, and that's an important thing we have Boozman said he supports extending all of the tax cuts and said that not extending them for the higher income taxpayers would hurt small business owners. "The last thing we need to do in this economy is raise expenses on small businesses, especially on small businesses that are making money," Boozman said. "That makes no sense at all."

Source: Associated Press coverage of 2010 Arkansas Senate debate Sep 10, 2010

Blanche Lambert Lincoln: National sales tax of 23% is just a bad idea for Arkansans

Lincoln criticized Boozman's past support of allowing workers to invest their Social Security taxes in private accounts , saying it would privatize the system and hurt retirees. She also criticized Boozman for co-sponsoring legislation that would replace the federal income tax with a national sales tax.

"The 23 percent sales tax is just a bad idea for Arkansans," Lincoln said. "It is replacing your federal income tax with a 23 percent consumption tax on anything you purchase, anything from your bread to your tires to your home to your car."

Boozman defended his position on Social Security and said that private accounts should be looked at as an option. Boozman said that he's open to the idea of the national sales tax and said it would simplify taxes for Americans.

"I think it's something that needs to be looked at. I would love to get rid of the IRS," Boozman said.

Source: Associated Press coverage of 2010 Arkansas Senate debate Sep 10, 2010

Blanche Lambert Lincoln: Like to see tax cuts for the lower and middle class

HOLT: Holt said he supports Bush’s tax cuts and believes taxes should be cut further.

LINCOLN: Lincoln said she would like to see tax cuts for the lower and middle class, but would like to see those in the higher income brackets taxed more.

Source: [Xref Holt] AR Senate Debate in Arkansas News Bureau Oct 29, 2004

Jim Holt: Taxes should be cut further

HOLT: Holt said he supports Bush’s tax cuts and believes taxes should be cut further.

LINCOLN: Lincoln said she would like to see tax cuts for the lower and middle class, but would like to see those in the higher income brackets taxed more.

Source: AR Senate Debate in Arkansas News Bureau Oct 29, 2004

Wesley Clark: Middle- & working-class tax cuts are an economic-growth tool

Clark is a big believer in tax cuts as an economic-growth tool, only his tax cuts would be far more directed to the middle and working classes - ‘the people who actually need tax cuts and will spend it.’
Source: Paul Barton, Arkansas Democrat Gazette Jul 13, 2003

Mike Huckabee: Remove the poorest taxpayers from the tax rolls

When we cut the tax burden for Arkansas families, we eliminated 40,000 families from the tax rolls. Not the richest but the poorest were eliminated from the tax rolls. By indexing for inflation and cutting out the marriage penalty, we gave Arkansans the best boost they have ever had.
Source: 2001 State of the State address to the Arkansas legislature Jan 9, 2001

  • The above quotations are from State of Arkansas Politicians: Archives.
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2020 Presidential contenders on Tax Reform:
  Democrats running for President:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 Third Party Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (L-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (G-NY)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Howard Schultz(I-WA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
Republicans running for President:
Sen.Ted Cruz(R-TX)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich(R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence(R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Pres.Donald Trump(R-NY)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld(R-MA & L-NY)

2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
Sen.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
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