The state's three members of the newly created Independent Tax Appeals Commission were sworn in by Arkansas Supreme Court Chief Justice Dan Kemp in Gov. Asa Hutchinson's conference room on Tuesday.
Hutchinson appointed attorney and certified public accountant Jeffrey H. Moore of Little Rock, tax attorney Matt Boch of Little Rock, and certified public accountant Joseph A. Sanford of Rogers to the commission in June. Moore is the chief commissioner.
They started work for the state July 1 and their salaries are each $149,862 a year, according to the Arkansas Transparency website.
Hutchinson said the commissioners have been working behind the scenes to develop rules that should be in operation Jan. 1.
"It represents a sea change in tax policy in Arkansas," the governor said before Kemp swore in the commissioners.
During the 2021 regular session, the Republican-controlled Legislature and Hutchinson enacted Act 586 to direct the state to create an independent tax appeals commission inside the state Department of Inspector General to resolve disputes between the state Department of Finance and Administration and taxpayers. State Rep. Joe Jett, R-Success, and Sen. Blake Johnson, R-Corning, sponsored the measure.
"The hallmark of any tax policy is fairness," Hutchinson said. "This is a good day for the taxpayers of Arkansas. They should see this as confidence in what they want to do."
Last year, Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce officials said they had been working on legislation to establish an independent tax tribunal for at least 10 years, and more than two-thirds of states have an independent tax tribunal.