Audio – Senator Keith Ingram Reporting News From 91st General Assembly
January 3rd, 2019 • News

Janurary 3, 2019

  • The year 2019 begins with good news for working Arkansas families, because the state sales tax on groceries will go down to the lowest rate possible under our Constitution.
  • The sales tax on groceries had been 1.5 percent, and in 2019 the rate goes down to 0.125 percent.
  • There’s a good reason that we did not completely eliminate the food tax. Arkansas voters approved a 1/8 cent sales tax to raise funds for conservation, parks and wildlife programs.
  • An eighth of a cent amounts to a rate of 0.125, and that will continue to be collected on groceries.
  • The legislature agreed to phase out the food tax at the request of former Governor Mike Beebe.
  • The first step reduced the grocery tax from 6 percent to 3 percent. It has been going down gradually ever since, and the repeal has saved Arkansas families hundreds of millions of dollars.
  • Governor Beebe can take much of the credit for phasing out the food tax, and when scholars write the history of this era, it will be one of the enduring legacies of his administration.
  • Phasing out the tax gradually was a text book example of responsible fiscal policy.
  • Although it was politically expedient to repeal the tax immediately, Governor Beebe and the legislature agreed on a structured and gradual phase in.
  • That way, we protected the financial integrity of public schools, higher education, health care and law enforcement.
  • There is more good news for working families in Arkansas, thanks to legislation we approved in the 2017 session.
  • About 650,000 taxpayers will see their state income taxes go down in 2019, if they make less than $21,000 a year.
  • The total tax savings for those families will be an estimated $50 million a year.
  • We have a lot to be thankful for, and a lot to look forward to in the year to come. I’ll keep you posted on all the latest developments.
      Click to Listen - Audio Recording from January 3, 2019