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Arkansas governor says she’ll call special session to cut taxes, fund Game and Fish

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Arkansas governor says she’ll call special session to cut taxes, fund Game and Fish

Jun 11, 2024 | 6:09 pm ET
By Antoinette Grajeda
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Arkansas governor says she’ll call special session to cut taxes, fund Game and Fish
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Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders shakes hands with Rep. Jack Ladyman, R-Jonesboro, as she enters the Arkansas House to give her first State of the State address on April 10, 2024. (Antoinette Grajeda/Arkansas Advocate)

This story was updated at 9:39 p.m. on Tuesday, June 11, 2024.

Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Tuesday she’ll call a special session next week to cut income and property taxes and fund the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. 

Sanders plans to cut income taxes by nearly $500 million and property taxes by about $50 million, according to a social media post she published late Tuesday afternoon. Sanders previously said she wants to phase out the state’s income tax, as long as it can be done responsibly.

“I’m calling a special session to give Arkansans hurting from Bidenflation income and property tax relief … Democrats in DC are failing, but we are blazing a path to greater prosperity for our people,” she wrote.

Arkansas lawmakers face possible special session after Game and Fish Commission appropriation fails

A special session became necessary after lawmakers failed to pass an appropriations bill for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission during this year’s fiscal session. The bill failed to garner enough votes in the House the last week of the session after some legislators voiced opposition to a proposed increase to the agency director’s maximum salary.

According to a proclamation issued Tuesday evening, the General Assembly will convene at noon Monday to consider the following items:

• Lowering the top individual income tax rate from 4.4% to 3.9%

• Cutting the top corporate income tax rate from 4.8% to 4.3%

• Transferring $290 million to the Arkansas Reserve Fund Set-Aside in the Restricted Reserve Fund

• Increasing the homestead tax credit from $425 to $500

• Approving an appropriation for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s budget

• Confirming gubernatorial appointees

The Arkansas Legislature meets for regular legislative sessions in odd-numbered years and fiscal sessions in even-numbered years. In the interim, the governor may call lawmakers into special session and set the agenda. Legislators may consider legislation outside of the governor’s call with a supermajority vote, but that’s uncommon.

State lawmakers were last called into special session in September. They approved legislation that cut income taxes, banned vaccine mandates for state employees and limited what state government records are available to the public.