Beebe Delivers State-of-the-State Remarks

JANUARY 10, 2007 - Posted at 2:35 p.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Governor Beebe says the state has a moral charge to eliminate the state sales tax on food.  He says the tax is the most regressive tax in Arkansas.

Beebe says he will ask legislators to phase out the tax with a 50 percent cut...three cents from the six-cent tax.  He didn't give a timetable for when the remaining portion of the tax should be eliminated.

The governor says the state needs to shed its negative stereotypes and become recognized for its high-tech centers and innovations in agriculture.

In his first state-of-the state address, Beebe called for an array of improvements to state services, from education to elder care.

Beebe proposed funding increases for public schools, saying much of the state's $843 million surplus should go to school facilities.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)