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The Highest Income Tax Rates In The South

The Bureau estimates a 61.58 percent hike in the Arkansas income tax rate would raise $1 billion while a 30.79 percent increase would raise $500 million for schools. Arkansas' current top income rate is seven percent, trailing only North Carolina (7.75 percent).

Arkansas would have a new 11.3 percent rate if income taxes were raised 61.58 percent, or a 9.15 percent rate if they were increased 30.79 under the BLR scenarios, which were requested by a 25-person panel studying public school finance.

Gov. Huckabee, and Senate and House leaders selected members of the 25-person panel.

Arkansas would have the highest income tax rates in the South under either scenario examined by the BLR.

Middle-class Arkansans would also be subject to higher rates at lower incomes than residents of any other state in the U.S. Arkansas' top seven percent income tax rate is imposed on persons earning $25,900 or more annually. Top rates in other states are imposed at higher income levels: North Dakota ($50,000); Montana ($73,000); and California ($35,792).

Arkansas would have the 2nd highest U.S. income tax rate behind only North Dakota (12%) under the 61.58 percent increase scenario.

A 30.79 percent increase would give Arkansas the 4th highest U.S. income tax rate behind only North Dakota; Montana (11%); and California (9.3%).

Source: The Federation of Tax Administrators from various sources for the year starting Jan. 1, 2001.