Mike Beebe Offers Grocery Tax Cut With An Asterisk (AP Analysis)

by Andrew DeMillo, The Associated Press  on Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012 11:29 am  

Mike Beebe during a Nov. 7 news conference. The governor offered a conditional cut to the state's grocery tax as part of his proposed $4.9 billion budget for next year. (Photo by Lance Turner)

Incoming Senate President Michael Lamoureux, R-Russellville, took Beebe's approach as a welcome sign since the governor wasn't telling lawmakers that his cut was the only reduction the state could afford. Lamoureux said the approach showed how tight of a budget Beebe believes the state faces.

"What doesn't sit well with me is when somebody says we don't have money to do anything except what I want to do," Lamoureux said. "He did not do that. He just said the money is real tight and I'm not sure what we can do."

Beebe's proposal could also invite Republican lawmakers to offer a competing proposal, to link their tax cut ideas to a similar drop in the state's obligations over time. If Republicans want to do that, Beebe warns that "they better get very creative."

"I don't see the road to do that right now," he said. "But I always listen to everybody."

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten, broadcast or distributed.) 



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