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Arkansas tax cut plan falls short of passing state Senate

The Arkansas State Capitol in Little Rock. Gov. Asa Hutchinson's $97 million proposal to cut the state's top income tax rate has failed to pass the state Senate. (Photo: KATV)

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson's $97 million proposal to cut the state's top income tax rate has failed to pass the state Senate.

The Senate voted 25-5 in favor of the plan, two votes short of the 27 needed in the 35-member Senate to pass and send it to the House.

The sponsor of the bill indicated he planned to seek another vote on the measure, but it was not clear when.

The plan calls for cutting the state's top income tax rate from 6.9 percent to 5.9 percent over the next two years.

Several Democrats in the majority GOP Senate criticized the measure, saying the cuts were coming at the expense of other state needs.

"I am disappointed to see that two Republicans did not cast a vote for the 5.9 Tax Cut Bill on the Senate floor today," Hutchinson said in a statement. "We recognize that achieving a three-fourths vote is a challenge. The fact that we got within two votes on the first ballot shows that it continues to have momentum. This is all part of the legislative process and debate, and we look forward to it being called back.”

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