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Extensive abuse of Arkansas tax credit doubted


Counties recoup the property tax revenue lost, because of the credit, through reimbursements paid out of state sales tax dollars.


By John Moritz
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Lawmakers looking at ways to identify Arkansans who are wrongly claiming multiple homestead-tax exemptions heard from an official Monday who questioned how widespread the problem is.

The tax credits, adopted by voters in 2000 through Amendment 79, are worth $350 each year off one's real property tax bill. Homeowners may only claim one credit, on their "principal place of residence."

Counties recoup the property tax revenue lost, because of the credit, through reimbursements paid out of state sales tax dollars.

But lawmakers have claimed for years that the state is taking a substantial hit because of people claiming multiple credits in different counties, because there is no central database for county assessors to check each claim. Then-state Sen. Eddie Joe Williams, R-Cabot, suggested last fall that the cost to the state could be tens of millions of dollars a year. Read more.

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