Since taking office, Gov. Mike Beebe has worked with three different legislatures to chip away at the grocery tax, managing to drop it from six to 1.5 percent.
This is Gov. Beebe's last regular session with the General Assembly, and Tuesday he told legislators he feels a sense of urgency to end the tax once and for all. But, it's a last chance he might have to pass on because of budget concerns.
"While building the budget it became clear that I could not make such a proposal in good conscience. With the challenges we face, I don't see room to cut this tax at this time without endangering needed services, but I still want to plan for it," Beebe told legislators during his State of the State Address.
Beebe alluded to a plan that includes passing a possible trigger bill. The governor said we may not have the money now, but he does see some cash freeing up in the future. Specifically, when the state's payments and to the Pulaski County Special School District. Those payments are a result of the desegregation ruling of the 1980s.
Passing a trigger bill would make ending the grocery tax the first call on that money. The governor may not be in office at that time, but he says the automatic trigger would ensure that the job and they started would be finished.
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