LITTLE ROCK — A bipartisan group of legislators announced their support Tuesday for a bill aimed at encouraging job creation and retention in the state.
House Bill 1832 by Rep. Darrin Williams, D-Little Rock, and Sen. Jonathan Dismang, R-Searcy, would offer premium tax credits for up to seven years to businesses that agree to create or retain jobs paying at least 115 percent of the federal poverty level for a family of four.
The credits would be 0 percent for the first two years, 12 percent for the third, fourth and fifth years and 11 percent for the sixth and seven years. Businesses that primarily engage in retail sales or that derive at least 15 percent of their annual revenue from the rental or sale of real estate would not be eligible.
"The New Markets approach to job growth is a proven economic development tool," Williams said during a news conference. "This legislation will provide entrepreneurs across Arkansas with the investment capital and financing to start and expand businesses in parts of the state that desperately need jobs."
Dismang said the bill would authorize the creation of Community Development Entities, or CDEs, which would coordinate private investment and funding for qualified businesses.
"These CDEs will support up to $250 million of investment in Arkansas jobs over the next seven years," he said. "The best part is that by examining data from other states that have this program, we know that it not only pays for itself, but actually earns money for the state."
The bill has 68 co-sponsors.