Arkansas considers bill to exempt some veterans from paying state sales tax

Published: Feb. 27, 2023 at 10:47 PM CST
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MILLER COUNTY, Ark. (KSLA) - Arkansas lawmakers are considering legislation that some say will help some military veterans make ends meet.

Darrell Williams is a disabled Air Force veteran. KSLA met Williams at the Miller County Veterans Services office checking on his benefits. While there, Williams was informed of Arkansas House Bill 1465.

“I think that bill will be very good for veterans, but I think it need to be expanded to all veterans,” Williams said.

House Bill 1465 would allow Arkansas veterans with a 100% disability rating to be exempt from paying sales tax on purchases made inside the state of Arkansas.

“Because that could help a lot of the younger people who have not had time to get their rating up,” said Williams.

If passed, those who qualify would receive a card to be used for in-person shopping. There would be a $25,000 limit per year for the disabled veteran or his family.

“It will definitely relieve them of the burden having to pay out that additional sales tax,” said Tom Ornberg with the Miller County Veteran’s Services office.

Ornberg said at present, only the state of Oklahoma provides this service; he believes if passed, House Bill 1465 could benefit veterans and the entire state.

“People say if you pay less taxes, that’s less revenue the state gets. But on the other hand, you attract more veterans to come to the state to spend the money. It’s definitely a benefit for those determining where they want to live,” Ornberg said.

State officials say if passed, this legislation could cost the state around $16 million to $23 million per year.