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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 8:39 am 
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Props to UMR_Engnr

Some context:

http://www.nwanews.com/adg/national/203850/

Quote:

In January 2003, legislators faced a slowing economy and a ruling from the state Supreme Court that the state’s system of funding public education was inadequate and inequitable.

Meanwhile, an economic downturn had reduced gross general revenue — most of that comes from income and sales taxes — to $ 3. 98 billion in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2002, down from $ 4. 01 billion the previous year.

“That and the education issue put us in a situation where you either had to cut [spending ] or raise taxes or some combination,” recalls Rep. Keven Anderson, R-Rogers, who was then a freshman on the House Revenue and Taxation Committee.

Huckabee had proposed a 0. 625 percentage-point salestax increase, in part because it would be easier to pass than an income-tax increase. Under the state constitution, a simple majority can raise the sales tax; a three-fourths majority is required for an income-tax increase. But legislators weren’t buying. Some said their constituents were dead set against an increase, and others griped that Huckabee’s plan didn’t put aside enough money for education.

Some legislators favored a 10 percent income-tax surcharge, others increasing taxes on tobacco products. Still others sought to use money from a budget-surplus fund typically used to pay for pet projects in lawmakers’ districts.

By April, legislators and the governor hadn’t agreed on which taxes to raise or by how much, and the regular session dissolved into partisan acrimony. Lawmakers went home without passing any major tax increases or enacting a state budget.

When legislators returned on May 5 for a special session, Huckabee urged them to increase taxes and pass budget bills to stave off cuts in crucial state services. He said he would accept any of the increases lawmakers had proposed, including higher tobacco taxes, an increase in the sales tax or an income-tax surcharge.

“We’re no longer talking about merely shaving some excess,” he told legislators from the House floor. “We’re talking about amputating valuable and vital limbs if we don’t come up with necessary funding to meet the needs of those who depend on it.”
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2007 4:26 am 
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Also read the entire State of the State speech given by Huckabee in January of 2003, about four months before the "tax hike" video. It really places everything in context and shows all the streamlining and cuts that Mike is attempting to accomplish to prevent even higher tax increases.

State of the State Speech

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2007 1:47 pm 
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Huckabee Campaign Responds:

Quote:
November 14, 2007
Little Rock, AR – Chip Saltsman, Huckabee for President Campaign Manager, issued the following statement in response to a YouTube video being circulated on the Internet. The video is from an anonymous source and contains excerpts taken out of context from a speech when then-Governor Mike Huckabee was opening a special legislative session in 2003.

“The governor called a special session. Several proposals had been made by legislators for raising the revenue to address a budget shortfall for necessary services. In the end, a state income tax surcharge was passed with the provision that it would be a temporary tax. Most temporary taxes become permanent. The governor made sure the legislature kept its promise to keep the tax temporary.

“More than 90% of the state budget pays for prisons, education, and Medicaid. None of those would have been funded without that budget. The governor acted responsibly to protect Arkansans who are the most vulnerable but the least connected politically.

“The fact is that Mike Huckabee cut taxes 94 times – including the first broad-based tax cut in the history of the state of Arkansas. While governor, he balanced the budget and returned almost $400 million to Arkansas taxpayers, and left office with almost a $1 billion surplus. The ‘Huckabee Surplus’ enabled his successor to follow Huckabee’s lead to begin the elimination of the state sales tax on food.

“Despite what some Washington insiders who don’t understand the fundamentals of governing or leadership will have you believe, when you discern the facts, the reality is that Mike Huckabee is a true fiscal conservative.”

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 12:44 am 
The entire speech can be heard on the following YouTube videos:

Arkansas Special Legislative Session - 5/5/2003 - Part 1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uak5akm8NXY

Arkansas Special Legislative Session - 5/5/2003 - Part 2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3B7s-iwlpjA

*Edit 11/15/2007*

Video URLs updated.


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