Department of Finance and Administration Director Richard Weiss presented the Governor's proposed balanced budget before the Arkansas Legislative Council and Joint Budget Committee on Thursday morning.
The proposal calls for a 4.4% increase in spending for Fiscal Year 2013. It calls for a 3.7% increase in spending for Fiscal Year 2014.
The Governor is proposing to eliminate the remaining state sales tax on food, except for the 1/8-cent tax levied by voter in Amendment 75 of the Arkansas Constitution. This would reduce the state sales tax on food from 1.5% to 1/8%. The Governor proposes to trigger this tax elimination when changes in state budget obligations occur.
The proposal also calls for a 2% cost of living increase to state employees.
ALC and Joint Budget will consider the proposals while drafting appropriations during the ongoing budget process.