With an Amazon windfall a sure thing and the potential that pending legislation will force other Internet retailers to collect and remit state and local sales taxes on commerce in Arkansas, a fight has arisen from minority Democrats on use of that windfall.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson
, and pending legislation by Rep. Andy Davis
of Little Rock, aim to send most or all of any new tax collections to income tax cuts. Democrats, who hold 10 seats of 20 on the House Revenue and Taxation Committee, attempted to amend legislation today to put any new revenue in the Medicaid trust fund and other programs. For now, Democrats who otherwise want to see the tax collected on local sales are opposing the Internet sales tax measures because of Republicans' determination to use it to cut income taxes and not shore up government services. Without the Democrats, proponents couldn't muster a do-pass vote this morning on the bill already passed in the Senate to require tax collection by Internet retailers.
The do-pass motion failed 6-2, with 11 needed, and nine members not voting and three absent.
We'll have more details in a bit.
UPDATE: Here's a link to more detailed reporting by Ibby Caputo for the Arkansas Nonprofit News Network.