Largest Tax Increase in State History Awaiting Legislative Approval

February 3, 2004 - Posted at 7:46 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The House is scheduled to vote today on the largest tax increase in Arkansas history.  But, the bill's sponsor may delay the measure if he senses there is not enough support.

Legislators are in their ninth week of a special session on education reform, but they are divided over tax increases.

House and Senate members must raise more than $410 million a year in new revenue to fully fund a $2.7 billion school-funding formula.  The new spending plan has passed the Legislature and has been signed into law by Governor Huckabee.

But the future of a plan to raise most of the money with a seven-eighths of a cent sales tax increase appears uncertain.  The bill's sponsor, Representative Boyd Hickinbotham of Salem, says he's still counting votes.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)