FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Justin Nickels, 501-231-6781, Justin@ArkansasAFSCME.org
Report Shows Impact to Arkansans of Ending Bush Tax Cuts for
Richest 2% of Americans
Wealthy Few Would Still Reap Significant Tax Breaks
(Little Rock, AR – August 1, 2012) If the U.S. House of Representatives passes the Republican plan this week to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for one year for households making over $250,000, the wealthiest 2.0 percent of Arkansas taxpayers in that income group could get a disproportionate 40 percent of the total tax breaks in their state. They’re average tax cut would be about $35,000.
In contrast, if Congress passed President Obama’s plan to extend the Bush tax cuts on the first $250,000 in household income, the average tax cut for Arkansans who make more than that amount would be about $12,600, or one-third of what they would get under the GOP plan. And the 31 percent of Arkansans with income up to $25,000 would get larger average tax cuts under the Obama plan than under the Republican plan.
Those are among the key findings of a new report released today by AFSCME Arkansas Council 38, Arkansas Community Organizations, the Arkansas AFL-CIO, and allied groups, “Time to Pay Their Fair Share: Arkansas Can’t Afford to Extend the Bush-era Tax Cuts for the Wealthy Few.” The report is authored by Americans for Tax Fairness, Citizens for Tax Justice and the National Women’s Law Center.
The report is timely because this week the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on the Republican plan to extend all the Bush tax cuts, including for the richest 2 percent of U.S. households, while ending improvements in tax credits for low-end and moderate-income families. The Democrats will offer an alternative plan similar to President Obama’s, which the U.S. Senate passed last week by a 51 to 48 vote.
“Giving lavish tax breaks for those who need them the least is exactly the kind of special-interest giveaways Washington needs to stop,” said Neil Sealy, Arkansas Community Organizations, a member of the Americans for Tax Fairness campaign. “We urge the House to end the Bush-era tax cuts to the richest 2 percent.”
Major findings of the report include:
The additional tax cuts for the wealthiest two percent in the Republican plan will cost approximately $68 billion next year alone. That’s equal to what the federal government spends to repair highways, improve education and provide school breakfasts for low-income children, ensure clean drinking water, and deliver meals at home to frail seniors. The report breaks down what Arkansas share of these funds means for its residents:
“We can’t afford to keep giving tax cuts to the richest,” said Ricky Belk, Secretary-Treasurer, Arkansas AFL CIO. “We can’t balance the budget on the backs of children, seniors, and families struggling to make ends meet, and we can’t keep borrowing from China. Those who have done well in America should do well by America and pay their fair share.”