House Leadership Working on Senate for Tax Compromise

May 8, 2003
Posted at: 2:27 p.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- House leaders are gaining momentum in their efforts to get members to vote for a Senate change to their compromise tax plan.

House members met to discuss the Senate change to a bill that would raise taxes. The House-passed bill would put in place a temporary three-percent income tax surcharge plus increase the tax on tobacco. The Senate voted to extend the surcharge beyond the House-approved two years, but base the amount on revenue projections by the state.

The Senate was expected to vote on the bill itself this afternoon.

At House caucus meetings, several legislators that backed the House plan because the surcharge was temporary appeared ready to accept the Senate change. They said it was time to get a budget passed and head home.

Earlier today, the House amended a bill that sets state spending priorities.

The House action stipulates that if state revenues come in above forecast, the extra money would be spent on human services programs, such as care for the elderly and mental health services. The move sends the bill back to the Joint Budget Committee.

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