Beebe Says He Would Cut Budget to Deliver on Grocery Tax Promise

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Governor Beebe says he would consider reducing state services if that is what it would take to make deeper cuts in Arkansas' sales tax on groceries.  In an interview with The Associated Press today, the governor said some state services would be fully preserved, including education, law enforcement and human services.

Beebe will mark one year in office next week.  He said in the AP interview that he constantly reviews state revenue numbers to determine whether Arkansas can cut more from the grocery tax.

Cutting the sales tax on food from six cents on the dollar to three cents highlighted Beebe's first year in office.  Trimming the tax resulted in a $121 million drop in state revenues.

Beebe said in the AP interview that if he cannot reduce the remainder of the tax by the time of the 2010 gubernatorial election, he would expect voters to still forgive him.  He said that he refused during his successful election bid in 2006 to say he would cut all of the tax at once.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)