Arkansas has the Twelfth Highest Tax Burden in the Nation for 2015

Oct 03, 2017

In Fiscal Year (FY) 2015, Arkansas collected $11.5 billion in state and local taxes. While this is an impressive sum of money, it tells us little about whether or not the average Arkansas taxpayer can afford this level of taxation.



Click here to view tax burden data by state, type of tax, and for years 1950 to 2015


As shown in Chart 1, Arkansas’s state and local tax burden (tax collections divided by private sector personal income) was the twelfth highest in the nation for FY 2015 at 15.7 percent—or 9 percent above the national average of 14.4 percent.


Chart 1 Arkansas State and Local Tax Burden FY 2015.jpg


#Arkansas #taxburden in FY 2015 was the 12th highest in the nation at 15.7%— 9% above US average @keypolicydata #ARleg (click to tweet)


As shown in Chart 2, Arkansas’s tax burden has increased over time by 71 percent to 15.7 percent in FY 2015 from 9.2 percent in FY 1950.


Chart 2 Arkansas Tax Burden by Type of Tax FY 1950 to 2015.JPG


#Arkansas #taxburden has increased 71% between FY 1950 to 2015 to 15.7% from 9.2% @keypolicydata #ARleg (click to tweet)


Click here to view tax burden data by state, type of tax, and for years 1950 to 2015


As shown in Chart 3, Arkansas’s 15.8 percent tax burden is greater than these combined industries: manufacturing (12.6 percent), and farm earning (3 percent).


Chart 3 Arkansas State and Local Tax Burden vs. Major Industry FY 2015.JPG


#Arkansas #taxburden > combined industries: #manufacturing and #farming @keypolicydata #ARleg #ARpol (click to tweet)


Arkansas’s higher than average state and local tax burden is driven by a significant corporate income tax burden (0.7 percent, 12th highest), and sales tax burden (5.8 percent, 4th highest) which more than offsets the other lower taxes such as the property tax burden (2.8 percent, 46th highest.



Of course, the tax burdens for local government can vary just as much as they do among the 50 states. As such, we have also calculated the local government tax burden for every county in Arkansas—this includes every taxing jurisdiction within the geographic county borders whether it is a city, a special district, or county government itself.


The Arkansas counties with the highest local government tax burden include:


  • St. Francis County, AR (5.5 percent)
  • Van Buren County, AR (5.4 percent)
  • Chicot County, AR (5.4 percent)
  • Desha County, AR (5.2 percent)
  • Jefferson County, AR (5.2 percent)
  • Phillips County, AR (4.7 percent)
  • Pulaski County, AR (4.6 percent)
  • Ashley County, AR (4.5 percent)
  • Hempstead County, AR (4.2 percent)
  • Howard County, AR (4.2 percent)


The Arkansas counties with the lowest local government tax burden include:


  • Cleveland County, AR (1.4 percent)
  • Benton County, AR (1.4 percent)
  • Perry County, AR (1.8 percent)
  • Saline County, AR (1.9 percent)
  • Madison County, AR (2.1 percent)
  • Nevada County, AR (2.2 percent)
  • Grant County, AR (2.2 percent)
  • Lonoke County, AR (2.3 percent)
  • Logan County, AR (2.4 percent)
  • Newton County, AR (2.4 percent)


Chart 4 Arkansas Local Tax Burden by County FY 2015.JPG


Click here to view tax burden data by state, type of tax, and for years 1950 to 2015



Finally, don’t forget to watch our exclusive time-lapse video of state and local tax burdens over the last 65 years! See if your state has been above or below the national average?



Category: Tax Burdens

J. Scott Moody

Scott has nearly 20 years of experience as a public policy economist. He is the author, co-author and editor of over 180 studies and books. His professional experience also includes positions at the American Conservative Union Foundation, Granite Institute, Federalism In Action, Maine Heritage Policy Center, Tax Foundation, and Heritage Foundation.

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