Arkansas gover­nor pro­poses in­creas­ing home­own­ers' tax credit

El Dorado News-Times - - Obituaries -

LIT­TLE ROCK (AP) — Arkansas' gover­nor called Mon­day for in­creas­ing a prop­erty tax credit that thou­sands of home­own­ers re­ceive for their pri­mary res­i­dence.

Gov. Asa Hutchin­son told re­porters he'll ask law­mak­ers next near to in­crease the state's homestead tax credit from $350 to $375. Hutchin­son said the in­creased credit will cost an ad­di­tional $18 mil­lion a year.

"With the leg­isla­tive sup­port I know will be there, this is some­thing that will pro­vide much-needed re­lief for our tax­pay­ers, our prop­erty own­ers across Arkansas," Hutchin­son said.

More than 719,000 Arkansas home­own­ers last year re­ceived the credit, which is funded by a one­half cent statewide sales and use tax, to­tal­ing $230 mil­lion. State fi­nance of­fi­cials say the fund that re­im­burses coun­ties for the credit had a $78.6 mil­lion sur­plus last year. The tax credit was es­tab­lished through a con­sti­tu­tional amend­ment ap­proved by vot­ers in 2000 and was raised in 2007 by Hutchin­son's Demo­cratic pre­de­ces­sor, for­mer Gov. Mike Beebe, from $300 to $350.

The As­so­ci­a­tion of Arkansas Coun­ties said it had asked Hutchin­son to sup­port in­creas­ing the credit. "His goal aligns with our goal — to pro­vide re­lief to our cit­i­zens. We are thank­ful for the spirit of co­op­er­a­tion our county of­fi­cials en­joy with the gover­nor," Chris Villines, the group's ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, said in a state­ment.

The pro­posal is the sec­ond tax break Hutchin­son, who is be­ing chal­lenged in the May Repub­li­can pri­mary by gun range owner and ca­ble com­men­ta­tor Jan Mor­gan, has said he'll push for next year. Hutchin­son ear­lier this year called for cut­ting in­come taxes for the state's top earn­ers by $180 mil­lion.

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