Former Governor Mike Beebe eliminated most of the sales tax on groceries levied by the state. But, even after four years of Governor Asa Hutchinson the state is still levying some sales tax on groceries.
We want to highlight the fact that groceries are still subject to a special sales tax for the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission and some other agencies. Why haven’t groceries been exempted from this tax?
We are referring to a 1/8th of 1% sales tax levied in the Arkansas Constitution which is distributed as follows:
- 45% for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
- 45% for the Department of Parks and Tourism.
- 9% for the Department of Heritage.
- 1% for Keep Arkansas Beautiful.
Are the needs of these programs so great that your groceries must be taxed? NO.
BY LAW OR CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT
It is our opinion the exemption can be passed by a simple bill.
Those who want to keep taxing groceries may claim it would take a constitutional amendment to exempt groceries. We don’t buy such an argument, but even that claim should not keep THIS LEGISLATURE from moving to pass the exemption. The legislature may propose three constitutional amendments. They have already chosen to propose one amendment to impose a new 1/2 % SALES TAX beginning in 2023. If taxing us is so important that they would use a constitutional amendment to do so then removing the tax on groceries is just as important.
If the tax and spend crowd claim a constitutional amendment is necessary, they will also say, “But it is too late to propose such an amendment because the filing deadline has already passed.” The filing deadline is just a legislative rule and the legislature can suspend one of their rules by a two-thirds vote.
Exempt groceries from this sales tax!