Saturday, March 25, 2006

Help Stop the Special Session of Spending

How Much More Tax Burden can the People Stand?

ALL That WE ALLOW! Take Action!

Gov. Mike Huckabee said Monday that he supported a set of proposed changes in state education law that includes $ 309 million in increased school funding, and told state lawmakers to tentatively prepare for a special session starting on April 3. I was told my legislators today that they are going to try to ram these increases through without giving legislators time to work on alternatives.

(Citizens of Arkansas must take action. I hope you will be as frustrated as I am when you read the following information and will contact the Governor and your legislators by email, phone, and letter and send them the information in this email. Contact Information is pasted at end of this email. "Stovall said he would know by mid-week next week whether he had 51 out of 100 House members to support the education committees' recommendations [$309 million]" … “If the two chambers have consensus, April 3 is the target date,” Argue said. “We’re working hard on that. … Those who led the committees that crafted the proposals say that, if lawmakers like what they hear, the special session will go forward early next month." We must make sure the legislators don't like what they hear. Please send this email on to everyone you know.

(click "Saturday" below for rest of article, or if you were sent directly here, just scroll down).

3 Comments:

Blogger Debbie Pelley said...

This is a paragraph from a guest article by Senator Jim Argue May, 05. "In the current school year we’ve added $380 million to the school system. Next year we’ll add $170 million, and then in the 2006/07 school year, we will add another $98 million. In addition to these new operating funds, we’ve appropriated $104 million to begin our new school facilities program. This totals $752 million of new spending in our school system in the current and next two school years. Total K-12 spending is now 53 percent of total state general and dedicated revenues, an all time high. SOURECE: Arkansas Democrat Gazette, May 15, 05 . "Progress or retreat on education? Every child is entitled to equal access to schools."

That $98 million for 06/07 has now expanded to $309 million and probably will expand some more. The $380 million cost the taxpayers almost a 1% sales tax increase.

They are still talking about adding millions for Pre-K which has increased 700% in 3 years according to a legislator. With Arkansans already paying a larger percent of their income in taxes than 42 other states, what our legislators thinking? The new adequacy study ordered by the Arkansas Supreme Court is not even in yet, and I guarantee you it will say Arkansas needs much more money. The study on adequate facilities said Arkansas needed $4.5 billion over a five year period for adequate facilities.

This increase in educational spending is a great example of the inefficiency of government control. I hope you will tell the legislators they must stand up to the Arkansas Supreme Court tyranny and give back local control.

As one legislator said today, "Just suppose this money improved education a great deal (which he didn't think would) - The graduates would have to go out of state to get work. We would have bankrupted all the other programs like infrastructure and other programs that could improve our economy." Remember four of those Supreme Court Justices are up for re-election this year. We need to work on getting all four defeated!

Below are bulleted points on just how heavy the tax burden in Arkansas is. I hope you will send this information to everyone you know including all your legislators and Governor Huckabee and candidates running for office.

*The number of government employees in the state grew by 10% from 1997 to 2004 and salaries for government employees increased 74% from 1997 to 2004. 1 These figures do not include public school teachers and administrators.

* Arkansas ranks #49 among the states in per capita income. 2

BUT Arkansas ranks 8th in the nation in the percent of income paid in total taxes. In other words, Arkansans pay a larger portion of their income in all taxes combined than do 42 other states in the nation. 3

*Arkansas pays more in local and state revenue as a percentage of income than does Massachusetts. 4

* Arkansas ranks #1 in the nation in the amount allowed for state and local sales tax (up to 11.5 cents.) 5

* Arkansas ranked 9th in state tax revenue growth compared to income growth from 1992 to 2002. In 2001-2002 Arkansas ranked 5th in the nation. That was before the big tax increase in education in 2003. 6

*Arkansas was one of the three states in the country that raised taxes by more than 5% in 2004 according to the study by the National Conference of State Legislatures. 7

* A two-parent family of four living at the poverty line paid $406 in Arkansas state income tax in 2005, the third-highest in the nation. 8

*The state of AR is the largest employer in Arkansas with over 50,000 employees. 9

For documentation on the footnotes see this link: http://www.wpaag.org/Taxes%20-%20Arkansas%20Tax%20Burden%20Statistics.htm

Debbie Pelley

dpelley@cox-internet.com

All legislators' phone numbers, addresses, and emails can be found at this link:

http://www.wpaag.org/AddressesArSenate.htm.

If link doesn't work, go to www.wpaag.org and click on Contact Legislators from home page.

Governor Mike Huckabee Phone 501-682-2345; Fax 501-682-1382

Governor Huckabee e-mail mikehuckabee@state.ar.us

Address: Governor Mike Huckabee, State Capitol, Little Rock, AR 72201

9:33 AM, March 25, 2006  
Blogger Debbie Pelley said...

Senator Jim Holt of Springdale and Representative Jim Medley of Fort Smith are on record as opposing the "special session of spending". Please support these men by encouraging other legislators to join with them in stopping this mad rush to spend tax dollars with NO guarantee even that amount will satisfy a runaway court.

Chief Justice Jim Hannah and Justice Gunter dissented in this case, indicating that they alone among the seven justices understand the proper limits of judicial power.

9:36 AM, March 25, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work » »

1:23 AM, April 25, 2007  

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