What if Arkansas were a national leader in children’s education and health? What if we had one of the lowest rates of child poverty in the nation instead of one of the highest? What if our abused and neglected children received the attention they deserved from caseworkers who weren’t overloaded?
It’s not impossible. We can make it to the top, but not by cutting corners on programs that are vital to our most vulnerable. Instead, we must adopt changes to our tax and budget structure that will improve economic opportunity for Arkansas’s working families, while also improving the state’s long-term economic competitive edge.
Making just five common-sense changes will improve tax fairness for all families and, more importantly, open up new opportunities for investments in our most vulnerable kids and families. Reforming our tax structure means we will have the funding to finally put the needs of kids first by financially backing pre-K, helping reduce caseloads for social workers, and positively impacting many other life-changing programs. The five common-sense changes are:
- Cut income taxes from the bottom up: Adopt a state earned income tax credit for working families and add a new income tax bracket for those who can afford to pay more.
- Make deductions less generous: Eliminate capital gains tax breaks for the rich and place sensible limits on itemized deductions.
- Level the playing field for all businesses: Close tax loopholes with combined reporting and make corporations pay their fair share in taxes.
- Modernize and streamline our sales tax: Eliminate frivolous sales tax exemptions and make smart changes to our fuel tax.
- Use the new revenue to make kids and families a priority: Support quality pre-K; give abused and neglected children the help they need; start after-school and summer programs for kids; reverse cuts to libraries; improve highways and roads without underfunding other programs; and many more.
To learn more about how these changes will benefit the state and our children, download our newest report, A Tax and Budget Blueprint for a Better Arkansas.