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I am working hard to phase out my state's income tax. Here's why

OpinionI am working hard to phase out my state's income tax. Here's why

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Who do you trust to handle your money: the government or yourself? Personally, I think you handle your money better than politicians ever could.

That’s why I entered office promising to responsibly phase out our state income tax. That’s why I’ve already worked with our legislature to cut taxes twice during my first year in office, returning more than $300 million to taxpayers.

And that’s why I called a special session of the Arkansas legislature this week to cut taxes again. Republicans and Democrats came together to shave $384 million off our personal income tax and nearly $100 million off our corporate income tax, putting nearly half a billion dollars back where it belongs: with the people of Arkansas.

1.1 million Arkansans will benefit from these tax cuts — the majority of taxpayers in our state. 


Imagine a husband and wife who are just starting out as public school teachers. Thanks to Arkansas LEARNS, their starting salaries are now $50,000 each. And thanks to the three tax cuts I’ve signed, they will now take home $954 more of their paychecks each year. That’s extra money for rent, a car payment, or their grocery bills — more money for them, and more money in our economy stimulating growth.

Arkansas’ economy is at a crossroads. On the one hand, thanks to our pro-growth policies, more Arkansans are working than ever before, our population and economy are growing, and the credit rating agency S&P just upgraded Arkansas’ outlook from “stable” to “positive” — one of only six states to receive that rating. On the other hand, families and businesses alike are facing headwinds from Washington’s economic mismanagement.

Prices are up 20% since President Biden took office and lit trillions of taxpayer dollars on fire, causing an inflationary spiral we haven’t seen since Jimmy Carter was president. The average Arkansas family has to pay nearly $800 more a month to make the same purchases they were making when Joe Biden took his oath of office. Eggs cost nearly twice as much, chicken prices have gone up over 25% and bread is 30% more expensive.


Democrats in Washington drove our economy off the rails, making sound stewardship in Little Rock even more important. I’m proud that in my first 18 months in office, we slowed the growth of government spending to only 1.76% — below the 3% annual growth we’ve averaged in recent years — and passed those savings along to taxpayers. Our state income tax is now only 3.9%, and our state corporate income tax is only 4.3%. With extra money in their pockets, Arkansans have more ability to cover the higher cost of everyday items.

Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders stands at a podium surrounded by colleagues as she speaks about tax cut bills in the Arkansas state Capitol in Little Rock.

Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders talks about tax cut bills while flanked by state Sen. Jonathan Dismang, left, R-Beebe, Speaker of the House Matthew Shepherd, R-El Dorado, rear center, and state Sen. Steve Crowell, R-Magnolia, during a news conference at the state Capitol in Little Rock, Arkansas, on Wednesday. (Thomas Metthe/Arkansas Democrat-Gazette via AP)

Our state borders Tennessee and Texas — zero income tax states — and hemorrhaged families and businesses to those competitors. Today, the reverse is true: of the Southern states that levy an income tax, Arkansas has the lowest.

Now that we’re competing on a level playing field, businesses and people are flocking to our state. Mississippi County, Arkansas, is now the top steel-producing county in America, Camden, Arkansas, is home to expanded facilities for defense companies like Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, and Walmart — the largest company in the world — is putting the finishing touches on its new and expanded headquarters in Bentonville.


Last week, I joined business owners in Central Arkansas to celebrate two expansions that invested more than $330 million and will pave the way for more than 900 jobs. In total, my administration collaborated with companies to secure more than $1 billion in investment last year. 

Polls show that Americans are fed up with Democrats in Washington. After three years of economic failure, that’s not surprising. The good news is there’s another option: fiscal responsibility, smaller government and lower taxes. It’s working in Arkansas. It’s working in other Republican-led states. And if it’s put in place in Washington, it will revive our national economy.



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