Whether you call it the State of Wonder or the State of Opportunity, both can be found in Little Rock, Arkansas. Little Rock, Arkansas was put on the map by trapper William Lewis in 1812 when he made his campsite near the “little rock.” Giving people from all over the world the opportunity to come and tour the only diamond mine in the United States, Arkansas is full of hidden treasures.
Little Rock, Arkansas is a conservative city because of the efforts to lower tax laws, relaxed and accessible gun laws, and the high religious influence. Despite the democratic local government, Little Rock Arkansas has still managed to maintain many conservative ideals.
Despite Arkansas’s democratic past, ever since the election in 2000, Arkansas has voted exclusively Republican. This shift politically has begun to settle into the roots of government found in Arkansas. While the majority of the state is Republican the Democratic leaders also help to increase the perspective and values of the state.
Taxes are something that comes around each year. When the time comes, it’s good to be prepared. Arkansas has a simple tax system that helps you stay ahead of the game and ready when Tax season rolls around. If you are living in Little Rock, Arkansas you can expect a combined tax rate of 8.63%. This can be broken down into 6.5% for the state of Arkansas, 1% for Pulaski County, and 1.13% for the city of Little Rock.
As of January 2022, Arkansas announced new tax laws that will lower taxes from 5.9% to 4.9%. This change will be made in small increments to help adjust budgets and costs. Starting in January 2022 income tax will be lower to 5.5%. In addition to this change, the Arkansas legislature also lowered the sales tax on used vehicles by 3% from 6.5% to 3.5%. This is able to help account for inflation and make buying used cars more affordable.
The effort to lower taxes is a very republican and conservative ideal. This idea stems from the Republican view of smaller government and less money streaming directly into government. Lowering Tax laws are something pushed heavily by the State government in Arkansas. Governor Asa Hutchinson has made it a top priority of his to ensure that, while taxes are important, they are only requesting money that is necessary and needed.
State and Local Governments
The Mayor of Little Rock, Arkansas is Mayor Frank Scott Jr., Mayor Scott. Born and raised in southwest Little Rock, Mayor Scott has had a vision for Little Rock and everything that it can become. Mayor Scott was elected in 2018 and plans to continue serving the people of Little Rock as he runs for his second term as Mayor.
“There’s so much more progress we can make, together, by transforming our city with even greater jobs growth, economic development in EVERY part of the city and increased neighborhood safety.”Mayor Frank Scott Jr.
Since Mayor Scott has been in office he has helped create over 7,000 new jobs and grow the economy of Little Rock by helping establish Costco, Trader Joe’s, and Amazon Distribution Centers.
While affiliating himself with the Democratic party, Mayor Frank Scott Jr. has worked to unite Little Rock’s diverse neighborhoods through expansion of our economy, creating new opportunities for educational growth for Little Rock’s students, improving the safety of our neighborhoods, increased police accountability, and improving quality of life.” These efforts have indeed helped to increase the quality of life in Little Rock and have helped countless citizens get the resources they need.
Since 2015, Governor Asa Hutchinson has promoted the motto “we’re working to make Arkansas a great place to live, work, and raise a family.” Governor Hutchinson has done just that. After living in Arkansas all his life, Governor Hutchinson has a deep love of his state and a vision of progression. With efforts pushed towards lowering taxes, increasing education in computer science, helping grow the economy, and helping veterans, Governor Hutchinson has a plan in place.
In 2015, Governor Hutchinson signed a $105 Million tax cut for middle-class workers. He has also been able to help Arkansas become the leading educator of Computer Science and help increase those that enroll in computer science by 460%. He has also been able to increase job opportunities and availability for those in need. Lastly, Governor Hutchinson has opened dozens of Centers for Military Veterans to go to for the resources they need. These efforts have been endorsed by the Republican party and are an example of true conservative values.
In addition to Governor Hutchinson, Arkansas is allotted 100 members for the House of Representatives. Of these members, 78 of them are affiliated with the Republican party, and 22 of them are involved with the Democratic party. The Speaker of the House is Matthew Shepherd of the Republican party, with Majority Leader being Austin McCollum (R) and Minority Leader being Tippi McCullough (D).
Arkansas is allowed 35 members for the state senate. 27 of these individuals are affiliated with the Republican party while the remaining 7 are involved with the Democratic party. The President of the Senate is Tim Griffin of the Republican party with Majority leader Scott Flippo (R) and Minority Leader Keith Ingram (D).
Arkansas, like many other Republican states, encourages relaxed gun laws. The Arkansas gun Laws follow permitless, “shall issue” policies. The “permitless” Arkansas gun policies allow individuals 18 years old and older who can legally obtain a firearm, permission to openly carry that weapon. However, it is clearly stated that individuals choosing to open carry must meet certain qualifications in order to do so. These qualifications pertain to criminal history and misdemeanor records.
There are also permitless concealed carry laws in place as well. For individuals 21 years and older, or 18-year-olds with a military release, it is allowed to conceal carry without any permit, license, or form of registration.
However, for those interested in obtaining a permit, most commonly done for reciprocity purposes, Arkansas authorizes 2 different kinds of permits. These permits are authorized by the State of Arkansas and accepted in many other states. The first authorized permit is the Concealed Handgun Carry license (CHCL). This License requires individuals to attend state-approved training to help teach proper gun handling and safety.
The second kind of permit is the Enhanced Concealed Handgun Carry License (E-CHCL). This required individuals to participate in an additional 8-hours of gun range training and handling classes. These permits are available for anyone 21 years old or older. While these permits are specifically available for Arkansas Residence only, there are permitless carry laws allowing visitors, guests, and tourists the option to openly carry.
Religion can have a dramatic impact on someone’s life. Even Little Rock’s own Mayor has been an associate Pastor prior to being Mayor. Mayor Frank Scott Jr. commented, “As a man of faith, I believe that when you meet a need, you touch a soul.”
Religion helps inspire individuals to become better. It provides values and standards that shape people into a better version of themselves. Arkansas, being part of the bible belt of the south, has become familiar with a variety of religions. Each city has a different prominent church than the others. Arkansas has a religious rate of over 56%. Getting even higher than that, Little Rock, Arkansas has a religious rate of 59%. These rates help reflect the attitudes and values of those that live there.
The leading religion in the Little Rock area is the Baptist Church with over 23% of the religious rates. The Baptist church values and relies heavily on God’s love for them. Baptist doctrine teaches individuals to seek salvation and repentance. Seeking reconciliation for their sins and forgiveness from Jesus Christ helps them obtain peace in their lives.
These doctrines are taught each week on Sunday at church services. The Baptist church services include songs of worship, holy prayers, sermons, and offerings. These efforts bring individuals closer to God. Church services are anywhere from 45 minutes-1 hour. With over 20 chapels in the area, all are welcome to attend.
The Methodist religion is the second largest religion in the Little Rock area. The Methodist religion makes up over 8% of the total religious rate in Little Rock. The Methodist religion focuses on a personal relationship with God. This belief has the power to change individuals’ lives.
Focusing their lives on doing good, doing no harm, and staying in love with God, Methodists believe that God will save them and help them find peace. Methodist has over 25 churches in the Little Rock area. This allows for all individuals to attend church each week and grow closer to God. Church services run from 45 minutes – 1 hour.
Why This is Important
You may be wondering why this is important. Well, knowing a city’s political habits are so important when living or visiting a city. Make sure to know the details of Little Rock, Arkansas’ political habits!
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