Senator Teague named to panel on taxes

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    By John R. Schirmer
    News-Leader staff

    Sen. Larry Teague of Nashville has been named to the Arkansas Tax Reform and Relief Legislative Task Force. The panel is charged with making the state competitive with other states on tax matters, according to Teague.

    There are eight senators and eight representatives on the task force, which will recommend changes to the state tax code for consideration during the Legislature’s 2019 regular session.

    The first meeting will be Monday, May 22, at Little Rock. The task force was established by Acts 70 and 71 of the 91st General Assembly.

    Teague served on a Blue Ribbon Tax Commission in the House of Representatives in the late 1990s. “I learned a lot,” he said.

    The state will implement a $50 million income tax cut in January 2019 for individuals making between $21,000 and $75,000.

    The state’s tax laws have a host of exemptions, and “Every exemption has a constituency,” Teague said. “We could do away with a lot of exemptions and lover the income tax. Many of these are organizations that do good work and don’t pay sales tax. This is harder to do than people think.”

    Teague said he has “always been on a tax committee.” He was the Senate tax chair until he became vice chair of Joint Budget.

    Teague is “glad to be on the task force and have the opportunity to learn some more.”