By a vote of 68-20, the House today passed the last major financial bill of the session. It provides tens of millions in corporate income tax cuts over time but raises some $40 million a year in new revenue by requiring Internet merchants to collect the state sales tax.

The bill had been marked by weeks of controversy over a small tax change for car washes. That had the benefit of diverting attention from the whopping corporate tax cut, including a drop in the top tax rate from 6.5 to 5.9 percent, and from the long-sought collection of sales taxes on Internet retail and room booking from businesses that don’t have a physical presence in Arkansas.

Rep. Dan Douglas of Bentonville reiterated that a tax has been required on out-of-state sales for decades, but never collected.

Rep. Josh MIller of Heber Springs opposed the bill: “It takes more money out of the pockets of people we represent and I’m not willing to do it.”

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