Tax Cut Bills Pass Senate, House Committee

by Talk Business ( 2 views 

One day after clearing a Senate committee hurdle, three tax cut bills passed the full Senate and a House tax panel approved a new tax cut proposal.

SB 274, SB 275 and SB 276 all passed the full State Senate today after afternoon debate on the measures.

SB 274 by Sen. Gilbert Baker (R-Conway) would raise the threshold for the application of the used car tax from $2,500 to $5,000. It would have a revenue impact of roughly $7.4 million per year.

SB 275 by Sen. Bill Sample (R-Hot Springs) would provide a tax break for manufacturers. It is slightly different from a similar House-passed measure and includes utilities who use natural gas in their processes in the definition of manufacturers. It is expected to cost the state about $7 million in revenue in its first year and as much as $20.8 million by Year 3.

SB 276 by Sen. Larry Teague (D-Nashville) would reduce the grocery tax by an additional half-cent, part of the Governor’s legislative package. Its cost impact is approximately $15 million annually.

Also, in morning action the House Revenue and Tax Committee passed a new tax cutting measure aimed at creating a sales tax holiday for school-related items. It is the fourth tax cut passed by the House panel.

HB 1369 by Rep. Matthew Shepherd (R-El Dorado) would create a state sales tax holiday for clothing, clothing accessories, school supplies and school instructional materials on the first weekend in August, beginning this year.

The sales tax exemption for clothing would apply to items valued up to $100 and there would be a $50 limit for clothing accessories.

Shepherd told the committee that every state around Arkansas has some kind of sales tax holiday. Representatives from the Department of Finance and Administration told committee members that HB 1369 would cut about $2.1 million from state coffers per year.

Gov. Mike Beebe has indicated he would work with legislators on some of the tax cut bills beyond his half-cent grocery tax reduction. He has singled out his opposition to a House-passed bill that would eliminate the capital gains tax in Arkansas.