Asa Hutchinson Proposes $50M in Tax Cuts in New Budget

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Tuesday proposed a nearly $5.9 billion budget that calls for $50 million in tax cuts, including a tax break for new residents in the state.

Hutchinson detailed his budget proposal to the Legislature ahead of the regular legislative session that is set to begin in January.

The Republican governor discussed his proposals in the middle of a coronavirus pandemic that has claimed more than 2,100 lives in the state.

The pandemic has also changed operations at the Capitol, where 10 lawmakers tested positive in a recent outbreak. Hutchinson spoke remotely to lawmakers, who wore face masks as they sat behind plexiglass partitions.

Hutchinson’s proposal calls for reducing sales taxes on vehicles priced less than $10,000 and another measure cutting income taxes for new residents to 4.9%.

The budget plan calls for tapping into most of the state’s $241 million in surplus funds, with $25 million going toward Hutchinson’s proposed tax cuts. It also proposes sending $100 million from the surplus to a long-term reserve fund, $28.5 million for school facilities and $30 million for rural broadband.

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