Arkansas Lawmakers: Milking It

More good news coming out of your state capitol as the Arkansas House of Representatives voted today to raise taxes on milk. The upshot: If this thing goes through, you can expect to pay an extra 2.5 cents, roughly, per gallon of milk at the store.

Here’s the vote count, which will also make you weep. Kudos to Reps. Dan Greenberg, Duncan Baird, Jon Woods, Allen Kerr, Frank Glidewell, Ed Garner and Lindsley Smith for their ‘no’ votes. (Smith is the lone Democrat casting a ‘no’ vote, though three others are listed as not voting. Rep. Davy Carter voted ‘present.’)

The punchline? The new tax is for the benefit of fewer than 140 dairy farms in Arkansas, according to a report from the Arkansas News Bureau’s Rob Moritz. But don’t worry, because this will eventually save you money, according to some self-interested state appointee scam artist who expects everyone to forget about this and never check up on what he says the chairman of the Arkansas Milk Stabilization Board:

Lonoke County dairy farmer Woody Bryant, who is chairman of the Milk Stabilization Board, which developed the incentive package, said eventually the initiative would save consumers money because milk production in the state would rise and prices would fall.

Of course, if milk prices were to fall, it would almost certainly have nothing to do with in-state milk production and everything to do with advances in transportation, refrigeration technology and supply-chain management that would improve the flow of the product into Arkansas from other states.

And should Gov. Mike Beebe sign this abomination into law, do remember this in a few weeks when he cuts a penny off the grocery tax and then goes around patting himself on the back like the preening ninny he is.

You may recall I was carping on this issue last fall.

UPDATE: In a somewhat related story, I see that Roby Brock’s Political Buzz blog is pondering the question, “When Will the Session End?”, and I can’t read that headline without hearing a plaintive note in it.

UPDATE: Yes, I recognize that the fee hike represents a relatively tiny sum per person — for me and APG it’ll probably come out to a couple of extra bucks per year — but it’s one of those “irksome on principle” deals.

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3 thoughts on “Arkansas Lawmakers: Milking It

  • AKA Bryce

    D. Creekmore-This is not how you run for senate.

    D. Hutchinson-Shame. Jeremy call your mom.

    Lea-WTF?! Shame!

    Burris-Double WTF Shame Shame

    English-I hope this is not an indicator of the future.

    Ragland- I have not been this disappointed in a politician since Huckabee. I have been around you a couple of times in social settings. You are exactly what the Arkansas Republican party does not need.

    Clemmer-Might have seen this coming.

    Summers-You have now officially attracted the wrong people to you. You are finished sir. Mark my words you are thru. Count on it.Your political future ends after this.

  • Mike Beebe is going to run for reelection next year and say he is a fiscal conservative because he cut 4 cents off the grocery tax. Sadly, there is no such thing as a fiscally conservative Democrat in Arkansas. In just a little over 2 years Beebe and the Democrats have raised the severance tax, raised the tobacco tax and now they’ve raised the milk tax.

    The truth of the matter is that the Democrats simply believe they ought to be able to take as much of your money as they want whenever they want it. I’m ashamed of our government today.

  • I’m with Bryce on this one, Rep. Summers. I’ve never been to Benton County but I read the paper.

    I know that the voters of Benton County have voted down local tax increases 3 times in the last 5 years. Those increases were for things like local schools and roads. If the voters up there won’t approve taxes for local roads and schools why would they approve taxes for the bureaucracy in Little Rock?

    Rep. Summers, it looks like you’re only going to get to serve one term. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.


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