Poll: More than 2 to 1 in favor of eliminating personal income tax



The Arkansans would easily support the elimination of the state’s personal income tax, even if it meant increasing other taxes or cutting state services, according to a new poll in the statewide.

The latest questions from the latest Talk Business & Politics-Hendrix College poll of 916 likely Arkansas voters were released on Sunday (October 3). Respondents were asked:

Q. Do you generally support or oppose the elimination of personal income tax in Arkansas?

54% support
25.5% oppose
20.5% Don’t know

Q. (For those who support or don’t know) Would you be in favor of eliminating personal income tax in Arkansas if you knew that in order to make up for lost income, elected officials probably should increase other taxes such as business and sales taxes, reduce state services, or both?

49% support
30% Against
21% Don’t know

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, Republican candidate for governor of Arkansas, has said she wants to pass an initiative to eliminate state income tax by 2030. Gov. Asa Hutchinson said reduced income taxes during his two terms. Hutchinson and the state legislature are working on a plan to reduce the top tax rate from 5.9% to 5.5% or less. Eliminating the state income tax would reduce almost half of the state’s current general revenue.

“There are many ways to eliminate state income tax and clearly public opinion leans towards this goal. The question really comes down to whether the officials who advocate this will do so responsibly to continue providing essential services such as public safety, education and health care to those in need, ”said Roby Brock , editor-in-chief of Talk Business & Politics. chief.

Talk Business & Politics seeks a bipartisan contribution in the construction and analysis of its polls.

Dr Jay Barth, Emeritus Professor of Politics at Hendrix College, is active in Democratic Party politics and helped develop and analyze the latest poll. He proposed this analysis of the survey results:

“Arkansas voters are inherently drawn to the concept of eliminating income tax in the state. A majority of voters (54%) are drawn to an idea that several Arkansas government leaders have put forward as a goal for the coming decade; only one in four voters oppose it from the start.

“He’s also popular with all demographics. However, there are significant variations between age groups, with middle-aged voters being the most favorable and younger voters the most skeptical about the idea. Additionally, there is a 10 point gender gap in income tax elimination, with women being less likely to support the concept. Democrats are, unsurprisingly, the most opposed to eliminating taxes, but, even with this group, about one in three supports it.

“The abolition of income tax would have major implications for the state budget. While proponents argue that the reduction would be met primarily through increased economic growth, most agree that some elimination of services and / or some shift to other taxes as a source of state revenue would be necessary.

“We then followed up on the original question by asking supporters of tax elimination if they would rethink their perspective taking into account any other tax and spending changes that would be required. Barely half of the supporters of the tax cut held on, but the other half became either opponents (30% of initial supporters) or did not know their final position on the policy change (21% of initial supporters) .

“This means that framing the public debate on tax elimination could have major ramifications for the end result either at the ballot box (if a petition campaign was the source of change) or in the legislative arena. The subgroups of voters most likely to change their mind with the potential implications stated were women, voters of color and Democrats. Other groups were more likely to stand firm in their support for the elimination of income tax. “

Robert Coon, managing partner of Impact Management Group, which works with Republican political candidates, also helped develop and analyze the latest poll. He proposed this analysis of the survey results:

“With two states on our borders – Texas and Tennessee – without personal income tax, the idea of ​​eliminating personal income tax from Arkansas has often been an idea put forward to make the Arkansas more competitive. The idea caught on among candidates and elected officials, including Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, Sarah Huckabee Sanders and members of the Legislative Assembly, and it became a high-profile topic of discussion. for many.

“According to our survey, 54% of Arkansans would support the abolition of personal income tax with 25% opposing it and 20% undecided. This support extends to a majority of white voters (55%) and a plurality of black voters (46%). Republicans and Independents view the issue alike with 67% of Republicans and 59% of Independents in favor of eliminating income tax, demonstrating why this issue has been championed so much by center-stage candidates. law. While nearly half (47%) of Democrats oppose the removal of income tax, the 31% who would support it are not negligible.

“Of course, personal income tax is a significant portion of Arkansas’ annual tax collection. In fiscal 2021, personal income taxes accounted for $ 3.97 billion in $ 8.12 billion in gross collections. The complete elimination of personal income tax would require dramatic cuts in government spending, increased tax revenues from other sources, or a combination of 2. It should be noted here that the state continues to operate ahead of schedule, resulting in repeated tax surpluses, so some tax reduction is possible without these consequences. As such, our investigation has asked those who were in favor of eliminating personal income tax, as well as those who were undecided, if they would support it knowing that one or both of these outcomes would be needed . 49 % of that subgroup would still be in favor of eliminating personal income tax in the face of spending cuts or other tax increases, while 30% would oppose it.

“As the potential consequences were described, the most noticeable drops in support occurred among older voters, black voters and women.

“When these questions are taken together, the data suggests that 37% of voters overall would support the elimination of personal income tax despite the spending or other tax consequences that would be necessary. For promoters, the numbers suggest that there is a solid base of support to build momentum. However, with initial support declining after the potential consequences have been outlined, opponents clearly also have effective messages to move the needle in their direction. “

You can watch Coon and Barth’s analysis of all of this week’s poll results in the video at the end of this story.

A breakdown of the methodology and demographics of this poll’s results can be found at the bottom of this article.

All media are welcome to reprint, reproduce, or rebroadcast information from this survey with appropriate attribution to Talk Business & Politics and Hendrix College. A link to this specific story is also required for all digital or online use by other media.

For interviews, contact Talk Business & Politics Roby Brock by email at [email protected]


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