Special Session On School Funding A Concern
Arkansas' general assembly meets once every two years. This is the off year. However, they are meeting in special session to deal with a Supreme Court decision regarding the inequity and unconstitutionality of the state's school funding formula. Several bills have been introduced that tax a number of previously exempted services, including many financial institution services. If these bills pass, all financial institutions in the state would have to start charging taxes on services like replacing an ATM or debit card, fees on service charges, etc.
Right now, our legislators are looking for any and all possible revenue sources as they struggle with the monumental task of constitutionally funding education in the state. The numbers have ranged from a low of $445 million to more than $850 million in additional dollars needed for education.
We have been monitoring these bills and our lobbyist has spoken with the bill's sponsors and other legislators.
We have also sent out two calls-to-action for our credit unions to contact our legislators, explaining how passage of these tax bills will affect the way they do business and serve their members.
We also asked them to talk about how taxing services would put Arkansas at a competitive disadvantage to our surrounding states that currently do not tax services.