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Asa Unveils Plan to Cut Income Taxes; Ross Responds

Republican Asa Hutchinson announces new plan to cut income taxes in the state and Democrat Mike Ross fires back.
...we are pleased to see Asa Hutchinson has come around to Mike Ross's position.
LITTLE ROCK-- At a news conference in Little Rock this morning, former Congressman and Republican Candidate for Governor, Asa Hutchinson, released the details on his first year plan for income tax reduction. Hutchinson stressed the need for Arkansas to become competitive with its income tax structure to compete for jobs with neighboring states. By systematically reducing our state’s income tax, Arkansas will grow its economy, put more money in the hands of Arkansans and create jobs. 

As Governor, Hutchinson’s goal will be to gradually reduce the income tax rate for all Arkansans, starting with the middle class. During his first year in office, Hutchinson will seek to reduce the income tax rate from 7% to 6% for those earning between $34,000 and $75,000 and from 6% to 5% for those earning $20,400 to $33,999. According to tax returns for tax year 2011, this would give tax relief to over half a million hard working Arkansans.  For an individual taxpayer earning $50,000 a year, this could result in over $300 per year in estimated savings. This represents a significant first step in much needed tax relief.

Once this initial tax relief is enacted, Hutchinson will work with our legislature to begin further reductions, as surpluses and growth allow for the remainder of those in the 7% bracket. 

Asa Hutchinson issued the following statement:

“My number one priority as Governor will be job creation. One way to spur job growth is through tax reduction and I am committed to providing across the board tax relief to all Arkansans. I will start this tax relief with the middle class and my goal will be to gradually reduce the income tax for all Arkansans. Tax cuts are an effective method to spur economic growth and create jobs, and Arkansans are long overdue for income tax relief. I commit to the people of Arkansas three things as their Governor: I will maintain a balanced budget; I will ensure that we continue our commitment to a world-class education and together we will create stronger job growth.  Across the board tax reduction and being more competitive in our tax structure is a key part of job growth.”

The estimated cost of the tax cuts under Hutchinson’s plan is in the range of $100 million dollars, which -- according to Hutchinson -- can be accomplished out of existing growth and surplus.

For more on Hutchinson's Plan, click HERE.
 
Democratic gubernatorial candidate and former Congressman Mike Ross fired back at Hutchinson's plan through a statement from spokesman Brad Howard to our content partners at Arkansas Times.

"Since launching his campaign, Mike Ross has said he would implement income tax cuts that target working families who need it the most, and we are pleased to see Asa Hutchinson has come around to Mike Ross's position.  However, as a proven fiscal conservative, Mike Ross has pledged to cut income taxes in a fiscally responsible way that maintains our state's balanced budget and protects essential state services like education, public safety and Medicaid for working families and seniors." 

The statement came with links to past statements in which he's talked about tax cuts for working families (generally) and (specifically) about an elimination of the manufacturing equipment sales tax to create jobs.

Check out more of the story from Arkansas Times by clicking HERE.
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