Delphi notes that the largely Republican effort to expand income tax exemptions for retirement income will be on the House floor today. We hope Speaker Petrus spoke truthfully in saying this might be one sop he's willing to give up in his tax-cut program. As Delphi points out, Social Security income is already tax-exempt, along with the first $6,000 of retirement income. That next $4,000 that Republicans and Democratic lookalikes want to exempt is close to exempt already for low-income elderly. The benefit is meaningful mostly to the top bracket, those earning more than $25,000 in retirement income on top of Social Security. And then it's only worth a maximum benefit of $280. Is that going to make somebody move here from Illinois? No, our property taxes are already sufficiently low enough to do that, one reason the state has had to pick up an ever-increasing share of public school finance. And this legislature seems likely to increase the homestead property tax extension yet again. We have enough free-riders on public services without increasing the tariff.
UPDATE: Note comment from Rep. Steve Harrelson on this issue. It may pass House, but it's meaningless. It's dead in the Senate. The "real" negotiations are proceeding out of public view. View House passage today of the $75 dependent credit on income taxes (now written in a way to cover the majority of families in Arkansas). It's another give-back to achieve the real aim of House tax cutters, bigger tax cuts for corporations.