Rep. Laurie Rushing, R-Hot Springs, has flown under the radar with her latest assignment, but she’ll be steering one of the most influential groups at the state capitol during the interim.
Rushing, who appeared on this week’s edition of Talk Business & Politics, discussed her viewpoints on how she will co-chair the Economic and Tax Policy Committee, a standing joint committee of the General Assembly. She sees cooperation with a legislative task force responsible for making recommendations on tax policy, but ultimately her committee will issue powerful recommendations that may or may not be different.
“We will meet simultaneously with the task force. We’ll be given a notebook, we’ll have all the same information that’s given to them. Then, we will do separately our own separate meetings to discuss policies and where it may lead, and different things that it may affect on the direction that they’re going,” she said.
Rushing doesn’t think the committee she’ll co-chair will have an adversarial position to the task force, but she says her group won’t be limited in its charge. Personally, and in conjunction with other committee members, Rushing says she wants a deeper exploration of the numerous exemptions that are on the state’s books.
“I think that one of our main goals is to make sure that we’re looking at how everything’s going to affect the state overall economically,” she said. “I know that I personally, and some of the other members on that committee, have talked about all the exemptions that are in place… I have a few preconceived notions that there’s a few that don’t make sense.”
She singled out an exemption for rental car taxes.
“Basically, when you have a rental car, and those are exempt from the sales tax when they purchase it,” she said. “We’re reimbursed usually from either tourists that are coming into the state or we’re reimbursed from insurance companies that the policy members have put out to pay for those rental cars when they have accidents.”
However, Rushing’s viewpoint on exemptions is far-reaching.
“What I would really like to see happen, and I don’t know that it will happen, but I would like to see all exemptions off the table, and everybody come to the table and justifies why they need their exemption,” she said.
Watch Rushing’s full interview in the video below.