Group Plans Lawsuit to prevent Tax Repeal

September 12, 2002
Posted at: 3:20 p.m. CDT


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- A group plans to file a lawsuit to stop a measure from getting on the November ballot that would repeal the state's sales tax on groceries and medicine.

The Arkansans to Protect Police, Libraries, Education and Services said the group hopes to file a lawsuit by tomorrow that argues the Committee to Axe the Food Tax is promoting a misleading constitutional amendment.

The group's director said the proposal looks simple, but is ambiguous and imprecise. But Axe the Food Tax chairman Karl Kimball says his group is prepared to defend the proposal and calls any legal challenge a travesty to democracy.

Gov. Mike Huckabee has supported past efforts to remove the sales tax from food and raise the sales tax to compensate for lost revenue. Governor Huckabee has said he wouldn't speak out against any food-tax exemption proposal that did not address the revenue loss, but that he would not detract from his re-election campaign to do so.

The state Department of Finance and Administration estimates that removing the sales tax from food would cost the state at least 322 (m) million dollars in lost revenues, and local governments estimate they would lose another 114 (m) million dollars.