Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed two bills into law today following their passage at the recent special session of the Arkansas State Legislature. The first bill continued his policy of lowering taxes, while the second created a new School Safety Grant Program
“This tax relief package that has just been enacted takes over $400 million from the state coffers and puts it in individual Arkansan’s pockets,” Hutchinson said. “That is a transfer of wealth from the government to the taxpayer, and it could not come at a more important time.”
When the Arkansas state income tax was instituted in 1929, it was at a rate of 5.0%. It was at its peak when Hutchinson came into office at 7.0%, and has now been reduced to 4.9%, a record low. This follows just eight months after what was already the largest tax cut in state history in 2021. The bill also includes additional financial relief for low and middle income taxpayers in the form of a $150 nonrefundable tax credit.
“In less than 8 years, we have taken the income tax rate from the highest it has ever been to the lowest it has ever been, while also growing our state reserves from $0 to $2 billion,” Hutchinson said. “We have accomplished this through a smarter, leaner, and more efficient state government.”
The second bill originated as a recommendation from the School Safety Commission, established by Hutchinson, to provide $50 million for a School Safety Grant program, which will allow schools to apply for funding to improve their security measures.
“When parents drop their children off at school, they want to have confidence their children are going to be safe,” Hutchinson said. “This $50 million grant program for local school districts will allow schools to implement some of the one-time recommendations that come out of the School Safety Commission.”