FISCAL POLICY FORUM ENGAGES CITIZENS
"The Foundation encourages citizenship."
Excerpt from the Policy Foundation's Mission Statement
(November 2018) On Nov. 27 the Policy Foundation hosted a Fiscal Policy Forum at Heifer Village in Little Rock to provide Arkansas citizens with information on ideas likely to emerge in 2019. A diverse group of students, senior citizens, researchers and policymakers participated in three panels that examined road funding, the state income tax, the grocery tax and the EITC. There was no charge to attend and attendees asked several dozen questions.
Many participants were surprised to learn that taxes from new and used car sales are diverted into the general fund and not used for road funding. Arkansas Department of Transportation Director Scott E. Bennett provided a brief history and cited reports on the issue. Arkansas Good Roads Foundation Executive Director Joe Quinn explained the non-profit's role in raising public awareness of the tax diversion issue.
INCOME TAX RATE REDUCTION
Dr. Keith Berry, emeritus professor of economics and business at Hendrix College in Conway discussed his research on the economic benefits of income tax rate reduction in Arkansas.1
LUNCHEON KEYNOTE SPEAKER: STATE SEN. JIM HENDREN
State Sen. Jim Hendren, chairman of the Arkansas Tax Reform and Relief Legislative Task Force explained how the income tax issue is likely to emerge next year. Talk Business summarized his remarks in an article on the Forum.2
GROCERY TAX, EITC
Policy Foundation Executive Director Greg Kaza explained the group's research on the economic benefits of phasing-out the grocery tax. Dr. Gregory Hamilton with UALR's Institute for Economic Development explained his research on the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) in Arkansas. Dr. Jeremy Horpedahl with the Arkansas Center for Research in Economics at the Univ. of Central Arkansas in Conway also participated in the panel.
1 Dr. Berry authored an early (1998) Policy Foundation study on the issue, "Taxes and Savings in Arkansas."