Arkansas Republicans: No Rush on Tax Cut Proposals

by Andrew DeMillo, The Associated Press  on Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013 12:39 pm  

"I'm very bullish that we can have something substantially larger," said Rep. Charlie Collins, R-Fayetteville, chairman of the House tax committee.

House Republicans are expected to push for a cut in the state's income taxes, and Collins said one option would be to phase in the reduction over time. Collins declined to offer specifics on the time period for a phased-in cut or the estimate on how much it would cost the state in revenue.

Collins said he views the coming weeks as "learning periods" for members to catch up on the state's budget process and revenue picture before tackling some of the proposals expected.

"I do look at it as more of a comprehensive picture than the wisest thing for us to do is hurry up and put a bunch of bills on the floor without understanding how all these pieces fit together," Collins said.

Senate Republicans say they're more interested in pursuing tax cuts that they believe would help attract businesses to the state. Senate President Michael Lamoureux has said cutting taxes on manufacturers' utilities and on replacement parts are two options they may consider.

"It's not a foregone conclusion, but I'd be surprised if there were not any tax cuts," Lamoureux, R-Russellville said. "I'd be surprised if we didn't do something on the grocery tax, I'd be surprised if we didn't do something in addition to that, but how big and what that is remains to be determined."

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