ARKANSAS (KFSM) — As we start the new year several state laws are set to go into effect that could have an impact on your wallet in 2019.
The first of three minimum wage increases over three years in Arkansas starts January 1, 2019. Arkansas will start the year with business owners across the state increasing their minimum wage from $8.50 to $9.25 an hour. The state’s minimum wage is set to rise to $10 an hour in 2020, and eventually up to $11 an hour by 2021.
Grocery shoppers in Arkansas will be saving some money in 2019 as the state sales tax on groceries will drop from 1.5 percent to 0.125 percent. It’s the final reduction under a bill that was passed by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe. Current Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said he was opposed to raising the state’s sales tax on groceries after a legislative panel voted to study the idea as a way to pave the way for further income-tax cuts.
Gov. Hutchinson’s plan to cut taxes in Arkansas continues in 2019. Income-tax rates for people making less than $21,000 a year will be reduced. In 2017, Hutchinson approved a law implementing his plan to cut income-tax for individuals with incomes below $21,000. Lawmakers enacted Hutchinson’s plans in 2015 and 2017 to cut the income-tax rate for individuals with taxable incomes below $75,000 a year. Those cuts are projected to reduce the state’s tax revenue by $150 million a year.
A new federal law in 2019 will also help Arkansan’s know how much hospitals’ standard services will cost. The federal rule will require all hospitals to post an online list of the cost of their standard services. Patients will be able to compare prices before seeking treatment.