What tax reform means for Arkansas

Jun 12, 2018 | Communications •

There are a million new jobs that have been created since the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act was enacted. Four million (and counting) americans received bonuses and 90 percent of the country now have bigger paychecks.

Workers, families, and small business owners have security and confidence that they haven’t had in decades!

If given the opportunity, Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats want to take all of that away.

Let’s paint a picture of what exactly Democrats would be repealing and erasing by getting rid of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act. Check out these stories from Arkansans shared by their representatives on the House floor:

REP. RICK CRAWFORD

“Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to speak this evening about the positive effect the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act has had back in Arkansas’ First District. Major industries, businesses, and families are already experiencing financial relief and enjoy having a few more dollars in their pockets.

“Agriculture is the number one industry in my district and in the state, adding around $16 billion to the Arkansas economy each year. Considering this, it was imperative that we pass a tax reform package that brings relief to farmers and ensures the next generation will be able to transition into the industry. The old adage that farmers die land rich but cash poor presented a serious problem under the previous estate tax exemption. Farming families often struggled to pass the business from one generation to the next. However, by doubling the estate tax exemption in H.R. 1, we are able to bring much-needed support to farming families as they cope with the loss of a loved one and a new generation takes over the farm.

“Businesses in my district have also experienced savings from the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act that they passed along to their customers and employees. Because of the lowered corporate tax rate, Entergy Arkansas, which provides electricity to all of the counties in my district, reduced rates for residential and business customers.

Ryder truck rental, which has locations in Jonesboro and Stuttgart, provided a one-time bonus to eligible employees. In February, Walmart, which has several locations throughout the state, increased the starting wage rate for all employees to $11 an hour, expanded maternity and parental leave benefits, and provided a one-time cash bonus to eligible employees of up to $1,000.

“Most important are the savings Arkansas families will see from taking home more of their hard-earned paychecks. A middle-income family of four in Arkansas will see a tax cut of $1,900. That is almost $2,000 extra to spend at businesses throughout the state. I am proud to go home to my district and tell my constituents that I voted ‘yes’ on the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act because Arkansas farmers, businesses, and families are already benefiting from this legislation.


REP. FRENCH HILL

“Like for most Americans, Arkansans are actively benefiting from the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, signed by President Trump at the end of last year, through lower withholding rates—all Americans should check your check and look at the difference in withholding this year versus last year—a streamlined tax filing process, a doubled child tax credit, a doubled standard deduction, Mr. Speaker, that now says 9 out of 10 Arkansans living in the Second District can file a simple tax reform and not have to go through the paperwork of itemizing, and flexibility in tax advantaged savings for their kid’s education has expanded to K through elementary and high school. This helps our families, Mr. Speaker.

“I hear numerous examples from Arkansans and business people across the district of how they are seeing that benefit manifested besides the changes in their paycheck.”

“I had a woman write me just a few months ago, right after the law passed, saying that she checked her check in February on withholding, and she found that the change in withholding now paid for the health insurance premium that she is covering for her daughter. These are not crumbs, as alleged by certain leaders in Washington. These are dollars our families get to spend in a way that benefits them.

A local banker in my district announced $500 bonuses for each of their 800 employees, Mr. Speaker. That is  real money, in addition to the tax savings. That executive at the bank said: The tax reform has created the opportunity for us to reward our employees who are working hard each day to both serve our customers and enrich relationships in our communities.

“Those are not crumbs, Mr. Speaker. And to make a statement like calling you keeping more of your money crumbs, that just shows you how out of touch some political leaders are up here in the beltway. Real families in Arkansas and across our country want to have more income for our families. Our businesses want more money to invest because if we invest money, we grow our companies faster. We add employees, and we boost the GDP. We are part of that American Dream that we are witnessing with the lowest unemployment rates in decades, the highest optimism in decades.

“Arkansans and Americans should know that House Republicans are working hard on policies to complement the tax reform package to help them keep more of what they earn. I commend my colleagues for the work that we have done to bring American families and businesses tax relief. For years to come, there will be benefits from the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act.”


REP. STEVE WOMACK

“Because of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, the economy is taking a turn for a brighter and much more prosperous future. Americans are getting to keep more of their hard-earned paychecks. More jobs are being created, and wages are on the rise. Since tax reform was signed into law, the good news keeps coming for hardworking Americans. American businesses are more empowered to invest in their workforces, expand their operations, and simply give back to their communities. In fact, more than 500 businesses, and counting, have increased wages, improved employee benefits, or awarded bonuses. In Arkansas, the impact is very tangible.”

“Families in my district—Arkansas’ Third—are seeing their taxes go down by nearly $2,000 on average, and Third District companies are benefiting Americans nationwide…Walmart is headquartered in my district. It increased its starting hourly wage to $11 for more than 1.5 million U.S. associates. The company also expanded parental leave benefits, provided a one-time cash bonus for eligible employees of up to $1,000, and is now empowering its employees to obtain a college education. All of this made possible by something as simple as allowing companies, businesses, and individuals to keep a little more of their hard-earned money.

“Tyson Foods in my district, America’s market leader in protein production, headquartered in Springdale, is also using this bill to invest in its people. Tyson Foods provided a one-time bonus to more than 100,000 team members of between $500 and $1,000. So you can see, Mr. Speaker, thanks to tax reform, there is, indeed, a greater optimism about the Nation’s economic future.”

“Mr. Speaker, I was a proud supporter of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, and I am proud of the benefits it has brought to the American people. I look forward to witnessing its long-lasting benefits for America.”


REP BRUCE WESTERMAN

“One of the greatest advantages that H.R. 1 provides residents of Arkansas’ Fourth District is an increased standard deduction of $12,000 for single filers and $24,000 for joint filers. In my district, 81.5 percent of residents choose the standard deduction when filing their taxes, and they will now be taxed on a smaller portion of their income. In addition, the child tax credit has been doubled to $2,000 and made partially refundable, a boost for low-income families. Those who itemize their deductions will find most of their previous options still available, including the interest deduction for most mortgages, capital gains deductions, and deductions for charitable contributions.”

“At the same time, these changes have simplified our complex tax laws and encouraged businesses of all sizes to invest in their communities. Many businesses have committed to increasing wages, paying bonuses to employees, and reinvesting in American jobs and infrastructure, as my colleagues have previously mentioned. Businesses in Arkansas are thriving, and the biggest concern that I hear right now are where do they find labor. We have got a low unemployment rate and there is a huge competition for labor in my district.

“H.R. 1 also maintained the Federal historic tax credit that was originally championed by Ronald Reagan. Cities, like my hometown of Hot Springs, have relied on the historic tax credit to revitalize downtowns and create jobs. This tax credit has been used to refurbish, revitalize, and reinvigorate properties and communities across the Fourth District of Arkansas and across the country. This not only brings economic prosperity back to these towns and back to these historic areas, but it allows us to keep our history alive for future generations.

“Passage of tax cuts and the continuation of the Historic Tax Credit will continue to propel the economy of Arkansas and the country forward. I am proud to have supported it and proud to stand up with my colleagues from The Natural State and around the country to praise its benefits.”