House Clears Tax Measures, Big River Steel

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 59 views 

Just an hour after approving the controversial funding bill for the “private option” health care reform measure, four tax cut bills and funding for the Big River Steel mill superproject cleared the House chamber.

The four tax cut bills included income tax reform, capital gains taxes, the grocery tax reduction, and a sales tax on utilities for manufacturers.

HB 1585, by Rep. Charlie Collins (R-Fayetteville), would would make changes to the personal income tax rates by elevating the top tax rate from $34,000 to $44,000 and then lowering the top tax bracket from 7% to 6.875%. HB 1585 also makes technical corrections to the lower income tax tables. It passed the House of Representatives by a 74-10 margin.

HB 1966, which raises the tax exemption level on new and existing investments, was sponsored by House Speaker Davy Carter (R-Cabot). The bill cleared the full House easily by an 87-3 margin.

HB 1218 by Rep. Lane Jean (R-Magnolia) slices the sales tax on utilities for defined manufacturers. It cleared the House with 96 votes and none opposed.

HB 1234, the Governor’s proposal to further eliminate the grocery tax, passed on a 90-2 vote.  It is supported by lead sponsors Rep. Darrin Williams (D-Little Rock) and Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Conway).

All four tax cut measures now head to the Senate for consideration.

House members also approved the funding bill for the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, which included a $20 million revenue dedication for the Big River Steel, by an 81-9 margin. That measure goes to the Governor for signature.