LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Governor Asa Hutchinson’s $50-million tax cut proposal took a big step forward Wednesday.
Members of the Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee unanimously endorsed the plan.
The proposal would cut income taxes for more than half a million Arkansans making less than $21,000 a year.
Some lawmakers have expressed concerns about the plan, saying they want to see cuts for job creators.
However, those behind the plan say they’re looking out for people who need a break.
“I have a manufacturing business and I have folks who make $10, $12, $13 an hour,” said State Sen. Jim Hendren, R-Senate Majority Leader. “Particularly when they have two or three kids with deductions, they’re going to fall into some of these brackets. I know they work hard and I think it’s fair and appropriate that we target the tax cut to those folks before we start getting too worried about the high-income earners.”
Hendren, who’s sponsoring the tax cut, explained it would give low-income earners who are married with kids about $300 extra a year.
“I think that will help a lot,” Hendren said. “Three hundred dollars means a lot to those folks. It means a lot to all of us.”
One Little Rock woman who fits the proposal’s bill can vouch for that.
“At the end of the day, the $300 at the end of the year would be a great bonus,” said Kimberly Pettus, a Gus’s Fried Chicken employee.
Pettus makes about $18,000 a year. She and more than 650,000 other Arkansans would benefit from the tax cut.
“That’s great that they even thought of us,” Pettus said. “If they could bump it to like $500 or $600, I would take three plus three!”
Hendren expects the full Senate to vote on the tax cut Monday and hopes to have it signed into law next week.
It would take effect in 2019.