LITTLE ROCK — A state senator said Wednesday he will push for a $105.8 million income tax cut during the legislative session that begins in January.


Sen. Bart Hester, R-Cave Springs, said nearly 600,000 Arkansans would receive tax relief under his plan, which he said he expects the state to be able to afford because of continued revenue growth.


“I am ever optimistic about the future of our great state,” Hester, a member of the Senate Revenue and Tax Committee and the Joint Budget Committee, said in a news release. “I am also optimistic that our state’s fiscal outlook will start to show significant positive growth in the coming months. With this optimism in mind, I am proposing income tax reductions that will benefit working Arkansans in every level of income.”


Under Hester’s proposal, people earning less than $21,000 a year would pay no state income tax. People earning at least $21,000 but less than $50,000 a year would pay 5 percent of their income in taxes; people earning between $50,000 and $75,000 would pay 6 percent; and people earning more than $75,000 a year would pay 6.8 percent.


First-year teachers and police officers would receive an additional 1 percent reduction under the plan.


Currently, Arkansas’ state income tax brackets are as follows: 0-$4,299 a year in income, 0.9 percent; $4,300-$8,399, 3 percent; $8,400-$12,599, 4 percent; $12,600-$34,999, 5 percent; $35,100-$75,000, 6 percent; and $75,000 and above, 6.9 percent.


During the 2015 legislative session, the Legislature and Gov. Asa Hutchinson approved a $102 million income tax cut for people earning between $21,000 and $75,000 a year that was the governor’s top campaign promise. Hutchinson is expected to unveil a new tax-cut proposal on Nov. 9 when he presents a revenue forecast and proposed budget for fiscal 2018 to the Legislative Council and Joint Budget Committee, but he has not revealed the details of his plan.


Hutchinson spokesman J.R. Davis said Wednesday when asked about Hester’s proposal, “As we approach the 2017 session, we will see a variety of proposals for tax cuts and other legislative plans. The governor welcomes these ideas, but until we see the numbers from the revenue forecast, it is premature to commit to a specific amount of tax cuts and how they should be allocated.”


Davis said Hutchinson is working with state finance officials on his proposed budget for the next fiscal year and looks forward to working with legislators on tax reform proposals when the revenue numbers are available.


Several legislators have said they have other ideas for cutting taxes, including Rep. Warwick Sabin, D-Little Rock, who has said he will propose an earned income tax credit targeting low- and middle-income working families; and Rep. Charlie Collins, R-Fayetteville, who has said he favors using desegregation settlement funds that formerly went to Pulaski County schools to help offset a $100 million net reduction in state income taxes.