Making Arkansas a Rich State

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What can Arkansas lawmakers do to grow the state’s economy in the years to come? That’s the question a new study, Rich States, Poor States, seeks to answer. Compiled by Arthur B. Laffer, Stephen Moore, and Jonathan Williams, this study identifies pro-growth tax and regulatory policies that states can implement. It also discusses what states are doing to attract new businesses and create jobs for their workers. In state rankings released in conjunction with this study, Arkansas came in at … [Read more...]

Sales Tax Holiday Leads to High Tax Hangover

Sales Tax Free Weekend

All tax reductions aren’t created equal -- and nowhere is this more evident than in this weekend’s annual sales tax holiday. Because of tax changes passed in 2011, some purchases of clothing and school supplies will be free from taxation on Saturday and Sunday. Many politicians in the middle of campaign season take the week before this holiday as a chance to boast about their tax-cutting bonafides. However, this temporary tax respite leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to fostering … [Read more...]

Which Candidate For U.S. Senate Wants To Kill The Death Tax The Most?

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Of all the taxes that government imposes, perhaps none is more offensive than the federal Estate Tax, commonly referred to as the “Death Tax.” This tax targets the money or property that the federal government thinks it is entitled to, despite the fact that the accumulated capital has already been taxed multiple times by multiple levels of government. Because grieving over lost loved ones is apparently not quite enough pain, the government comes in and seizes another chunk of your property. And, … [Read more...]

Cotton: Exchanges Will Be ‘Open Season on Taxpayers’

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Rep. Tom Cotton, who is challenging Senator Mark Pryor, took some time out of his busy schedule to visit with reporters on a conference call this morning. The main topic of discussion -- Obamacare: I think it’s going to be a central issue in the campaign and I bet there are a lot of Arkansans who will be astonished that Mark Pryor thinks that Obamacare is an amazing success story, working well. 170 people at Baptist Health who lost their jobs might be very surprised to hear that. Seniors who … [Read more...]

Stephen Speaks!

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Those thinkers over at the Advance Arkansas Institute made good on their promise yesterday to bring Steve Moore to Little Rock for a speech. And might I just add: it was quite a barn burner. I’ve provided a video excerpt of Mr. Moore’s comments below. The clip begins with Moore emphatically telling the audience of approximately 100 -- which included a large number of state legislators of both parties -- about the importance of reforming the tax code in Arkansas. “If you just stand pat, … [Read more...]

Smells Like….Freedom: Arkansas Tax Freedom Day April 11!

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And here it comes, baby: Tax Freedom Day. Can you feel it? Can you feel all that freedom coming your way? The fiscal wonks over at the Tax Foundation have strapped on their green eyeshades to determine that Tax Freedom Day in Arkansas lands just eight days from now, on April 11. That's the day when put-upon taxpayers at last meet their obligations to the government and start taking home a little scratch for themselves. The Natural State has the nation's 31st latest Tax Freedom Day, so … [Read more...]

Tomorrow’s Bad Ideas Today: Taxing Digital Downloads!

For demonstration purposes only. No point in clicking.

Now is the time to weep for the good people of Connecticut! In addition to having to live with the indignity of being denizens of "The Nutmeg State," they now must suffer lawmakers who are seeking to slap a sales tax on their digital downloads. Buying a book for your Amazon Kindle or downloading a couple of tracks off iTunes? Pony up, kiddo. I called the Arkansas Dept. of Finance and Administration (DFA) sales tax office, where an informed and helpful lady swiftly reassured me that no such … [Read more...]

Governor, Agencies Say Trivial Budget Cuts Would Be Devastating, Which Was Entirely Predictable!

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You guys, this Arkansas budget debate! What a mess! Let's see: House Minority Leader John Burris proposes cutting a handful of state agency budgets in a gambit to (very very very mildly) slow the rate of growth in state government. Gov. Mike Beebe, he does not like this at all, pal, mostly because he doesn't appreciate challenges to his budgeting authority. So Beebe tells the agencies to assess themselves and to let us know what effect these proposed budget cuts would have. And the agencies … [Read more...]