LITTLE ROCK, AR - Only four other states have a higher proportion of residents who make so little money that they don't have to pay income tax. Arkansas is fifth in a ranking of states by how many income-earning residents don't pay federal or state income tax.
Nona French, research and fiscal policy director for Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, said states higher on the list than Arkansas are Mississippi, Lousiana, New Mexico and Alabama.
In 2004, 30.7 percent of Arkansas residents who filed returns with the IRS did not have to pay federal income tax. The national average was 26 percent for those paying no tax.
For the state income tax, 20.8 percent of Arkansans who filed returns didn't have to pay.
The numbers point to a larger class of poorer workers in Arkansas than in the nation at large.