Significant Small Business Tax Relief Bills Pending in the Arkansas Legislature: Coronavirus Aid and SALT Deduction Parity

Two significant proposals for tax relief for small businesses are making their way through the Arkansas General Assembly that promise hundreds of millions of dollars of tax relief: (1) conformity to federal tax exemptions for PPP loan forgiveness and other coronavirus aid and (2) creating an elective tax regime to allow federal deductibility of Arkansas income tax. Similar proposals are being adopted in other states. Interested small business taxpayers should consult with their tax advisors about the potential benefits and may wish to contact their legislators about supporting the bills. [More]

Arkansas Independent Tax Appeals Commission Legislation Introduced!

HB1468 was filed today to establish an independent Arkansas Tax Appeals Commission that would replace the current internal appeals function at the Department of Finance and Administration, which has been very deferential to DFA audit and legal positions. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Joe Jett and Sen. Blake Johnson. The Arkansas Tax Appeals Commission would be made up of three commissioners, including a Chief Commissioner coming from the private-sector. It promises a streamlined and fairer system for Arkansas taxpayers. [More]

Arkansas Supreme Court Allows Exemption for Unleased Economic Development Property Under Facts Presented

The Arkansas Supreme Court issued a nuanced opinion in City of Little Rock v. Ward, 2020 Ark. 399 (2020), granting property tax exemptions for publicly held property that formerly had been leased to private parties. The reasoning of the opinion turns on the specific facts associated with the subsequent use of each parcel. As such, the case is a win for economic development authorities, but it is a nuanced one where such agencies need to carefully consider the applicable facts. [More]

Arkansas Supreme Court Takes Narrow View of Assessment Coordination Division Authority

The Arkansas Supreme Court upheld sovereign immunity dismissal of claims against the Assessment Coordination Division (ACD) about its mineral interest assessment guidelines in Chaney v. Union Producing, LLC, 2020 Ark. 388 (Dec. 3, 2020). The court's reasoning emphasizes the limited nature of ACD guidance authority over county assessors. The decision also highlights the potential impact of sovereign immunity on the right to bring tax-related claims to court. [More]