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LITTLE ROCK — The Republican leader of the Arkansas Senate and a bipartisan group of lawmakers are proposing raising taxes on cigarettes and e-cigarettes to pay for tax cuts for the state's low- and middle-income residents.

Senate President Jim Hendren on Thursday unveiled a $100 million proposal to cut taxes for low-income earners and to raise the state's standard deduction. The cuts will be paid for by raising taxes on cigarettes and e-cigarettes.

[RELATED: Complete Democrat-Gazette coverage of the Arkansas Legislature]

Hendren was flanked by more than a dozen lawmakers as he unveiled the plan, which he says will go before a Senate committee next week.

The proposal comes after the majority-Republican Legislature last month backed GOP Gov. Asa Hutchinson's proposal to cut the state's top income tax rate.

Read Friday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.


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  • hogfan2012
    March 14, 2019 at 4:54 p.m.

    I will go to Missouri to buy my $8.00 a pack Virginia Slims where I can get them for $5.10 a pack now. Discrimination at its worst! And if the legislatures think low-income people don't smoke, they are crazy.

  • mrcharles
    March 14, 2019 at 5:32 p.m.

    many bubbas of the land of arkansas will be unhappy about this. So what, life is tough.

    on hogfan's comment that "if the legislature think", about chocked up. Time and time again they refrain from that 4 words.

    Now it is a filthy habit, but I can see why hogfan is upset.

  • wolfman
    March 14, 2019 at 5:56 p.m.

    There we go. Tax alcohol and liquor also. Now take the tax off of food and gasoline

  • NoUserName
    March 14, 2019 at 6:14 p.m.

    Thing is, if we tax smokers to the point they all quit, we're f*cked. Cigarette taxes add to the bottom line. And no, healthcare costs won't drop. Being fat or getting old are more expensive than smoking and we show no signs of stopping either of those.

    March 14, 2019 at 8:44 p.m.

    I'm going to start selling singles. Is that legal here?

    March 14, 2019 at 8:46 p.m.

    ... or maybe tobacco seed...

  • Popsmith
    March 14, 2019 at 9:40 p.m.

    Why doesn't the FDA control tobacco? The alcohol lobby wants tobacco because they know that alcohold is next on the hit list.

  • Popsmith
    March 14, 2019 at 9:42 p.m.

    The poor have their cigarettes. The middle class has their wine. The rich folk have whatever they want.

  • Guptah
    March 15, 2019 at 10:08 a.m.

    This old adage stands over the ages, "When times are bad, people drink, people smoke. When times are good, people drink, people smoke".
    So, let me get this straight, the AR Legislature is going to raise taxes on what the poor use, tobacco products and e-cigs, only to reduce income taxes on the poor so they can then have more money to buy tobacco products and e-cigs?

  • JIMBOB47
    March 17, 2019 at 6:33 a.m.

    They never get it right. When you need that 'special' hit for taxes, get EVERYONE by taxing toilet paper. Just tell me someone who doesn't use it!! Quit picking on different segments of our population because someone doesn't like them (sin taxes).