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Arkansas special session to focus on tax relief, school safety

Lawmakers will be at the Arkansas Capitol for a special session this week focusing on tax relief and school.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Governor Asa Hutchinson called for a special session this August after a record surplus last year.

"This reinforces our need to lower tax cuts that's planned to lower our rates," he said.

In this special session, Gov. Hutchinson plans to provide tax relief. Those plans include:

  • Lower the top individual tax rate to 4.9%, retroactive to January 1, 2022, saving taxpayers $295 million in 2022
  • Lower the corporate income tax rate to 5.3%, beginning January 1, 2023
  • Create a $150 nonrefundable low- and middle-income tax credit, saving taxpayers $156.3 million in 2022

The governor also plans to discuss aligning Arkansas law with the federal depreciation schedule. 

He's hoping lawmakers agree to transfer $50 million from the state surplus for the purpose of a school safety grant program, consistent with the recommendations of the Arkansas School Safety Commission.

RELATED: Arkansas School Safety Task Force announces recommendations

"That $50 million would be a good start," Gov. Hutchinson said. "A good support mechanism for our school districts as they try to carry out the responsibility that school children must be safe." 

Spending for the recommendations will focus on threat assessment teams, mental health services and more.

"Which makes the need clear for a $50 million school safety grant program," he said.

The governor says the tax cuts will provide relief for all Arkansans. 

"As inflation rises and the cost of living increases, Arkansans need more money in their pockets," he said.

The special session will begin this Tuesday, Aug. 9 and Gov. Hutchinson says he expects the session to last a week.

RELATED: Senate Democrats pass budget package; House to vote next

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