Special Elections: How Arkansas’s Sales Taxes Got So High

By Caleb Taylor Arkansas legislators will make another attempt to rein in local special elections that have contributed to Arkansas having the third highest state and local sales tax rate in the nation at 9.51%. House Bill 1368 by State Rep. David Ray R-District 40 would limit special elections to primary and general election dates […]

Kanode Discusses Automatic Licensure With Senate Committee

By Caleb Taylor Should new Arkansans with occupational licenses in their previous residence be given automatic licensure in the Natural State? Senate Bill 78 by State Sen. Ricky Hill R-District 29 would do just that for some Arkansans. The bill expands automatic licensure to military members, military spouses and widows who move to Arkansas who […]

Denial of Economic Opportunities: The Case of Barber Licensing

By Caleb Taylor What was the motivation and reasoning behind the original state regulation of barbers in Arkansas?  ACRE Research Fellow Tanner Corley explored this question and more in an op-ed, “Hairy regulations,” published in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on December 11. According to Corley, Arkansas barbers were able to appeal to fears of unsanitary barber […]

What Changes Will Arkansas See to Occupational Licensing?

By Caleb Taylor Arkansas legislators just wrapped up their first round of sunset reviews of Arkansas’s occupational licenses. What changes are in store? A just-released policy statement, “Occupational Licensing and Arkansas’s Act 600,” by ACRE Economic Policy Analyst Alex Kanode discusses the reforms and missed opportunities of the Arkansas Legislative Council’s Occupational Licensing Review Subcommittee’s […]

Severe Licensing Rules Hurt Economic Opportunity During Recessions

By Caleb Taylor Did a state’s occupational licensing requirements affect business creation during the Great Recession? “U.S. State Occupational Licensing: Measuring its Impact on Business Establishments during the Great Recession” co-authored by ACRE Policy Analyst Alex Kanode, ACRE Scholar and UCA Associate Professor of Economics Dr. Thomas Snyder and ACRE Undergraduate Research Fellow Elsa Mattson […]

Key Economic Questions for 2021 in Arkansas

By Caleb Taylor Will next year bring better economic times or more of the same? ACRE Scholar and UCA Assistant Professor of Economics Dr. Jeremy Horpedahl was a guest on Arkansas Week on Arkansas PBS over the weekend to discuss the future of Covid-19 and the economy for 2021. The discussion also included University of […]

Economist Examines New Arkansas Budget Plans

By Caleb Taylor Gov. Asa Hutchinson proposed biennial budget released last Tuesday contains an early Christmas present for new Arkansans, but does it make larger reforms more difficult?  Hutchinson announced on Nov. 10 that he’d like to cut the top individual income tax rate to 4.9 percent for new residents of the Natural State. He […]

Missouri Licensing Law a Good Example for Arkansas

By Caleb Taylor Should Arkansas follow Missouri’s lead on occupational licensing? ACRE Policy Analyst Alex Kanode and ACRE Scholar and UCA Associate Professor of Economics Dr. Thomas Snyder discussed in “Show-Me the way” (published in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on October 22) a recent occupational licensing reform bill passed by the Missouri legislature, known as universal […]

Towards Web Transparency at Lower Levels of Government: How are School Districts Reporting Procurement Processes and Outcomes?

By Joyce Ajayi, Mavuto Kalulu, and David Lee Year after year we are seeing more laws and initiatives go into effect to encourage local levels of government in Arkansas to have more online transparency. For example, Act 564 recently mandated all Arkansas counties to publish their annual budget and financial reports online. Why is this important? Local […]

Permanent 0.5% Sales Tax on Ballot

By Caleb Taylor Should Arkansas approve a permanent 0.5 percent sales tax for road funding in November? UCA Assistant Professor of Economics and ACRE Scholar Dr. Jeremy Horpedahl gave voters a few important points to consider in “Paying for roads,” in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on September 25. The 0.5 percent sales tax on the ballot […]