Article 16, Arkansas Constitution
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[As amended in 1918.]
| Text of Section 1:
Lending Credit - Bond Issues - Interest-bearing Warrants
Neither the State nor any city, county, town or other municipality in this State shall ever lend its credit for any purpose whatever; nor shall any county, city or town or municipality ever issue any interest bearing evidences of indebtedness, except such bonds as may be authorized by law to provide for and secure the payment of the indebtedness existing at the time of the adoption of the Constitution of 1874, and the State shall never issue any interest-bearing treasury warrants or scrip.
| Text of Section 2:
Debts of State - Payment
The General Assembly shall, from time to time, provide for the payment of all just and legal debts of the State.
| Text of Section 3:
Making Profit out of or Misusing Public Funds - Penalty
The making of profit out of public moneys, or using the same for any purpose not authorized by law, by any officer of the State, or member or officer of the General Assembly, shall be punishable as may be provided by law, but part of such punishment shall be disqualification to hold office in this State for a period of five years.
| Text of Section 4:
Salaries and Fees of State Officers
The General Assembly shall fix the salaries and fees of all officers in the State; and no greater salary or fee than that fixed by law shall be paid to any officer, employee or other person, or at any rate other than par value; and the number and salaries of the clerks and employees of the different departments of the State shall be fixed by law.
[Added by Const. Amend. 59.]
| Text of Section 5:
Property Taxed According to Value - Procedures for Valuation - Tax Exemptions
(a) All real and tangible personal property subject to taxation shall be taxed according to its value, that value to be ascertained in such manner as the General Assembly shall direct, making the same equal and uniform throughout the State. No one species of property for which a tax may be collected shall be taxed higher than another species of property of equal value, except as provided and authorized in Section 15 of this Article, and except as authorized in Section 14 of this Article. The General Assembly, upon the approval thereof by a vote of not less than three-fourths (3/4ths) of the members elected to each house, may establish the methods and procedures for valuation of property for taxation purposes, but may not alter the method of valuation set forth in Section 15 of this Article. (b) The following property shall be exempt from taxation: public property used exclusively for public purposes; churches used as such; cemeteries used exclusively as such; school buildings and apparatus; libraries and grounds used exclusively for school purposes; and buildings and grounds and materials used exclusively for public charity.
Nothing in this Section shall affect or repeal the provision of Amendment 57 to the Constitution of the State of Arkansas pertaining to intangible personal property.
| Text of Section 6:
Other Tax Exemptions Forbidden
All laws exempting property from taxation, other than as provided in this Constitution shall be void.
| Text of Section 7:
Taxation of Corporate Property
The power to tax corporations and corporate property, shall not be surrendered or suspended by any contract or grant to which the State may be a party.
| Text of Section 8:
Maximum Rate of State Taxes
The General Assembly shall not have power to levy State taxes for any one year to exceed, in the aggregate, one per cent of the assessed valuation of the property of the State for that year.
| Text of Section 9:
County Taxes - Limitation
No county shall levy a tax to exceed one-half of one per cent., for all purposes; but may levy an additional one-half of one per cent. to pay indebtedness existing at the time of the ratification of this Constitution.
| Text of Section 10:
Payment of County and Municipal Taxes
The taxes of counties, towns and cities shall only be payable in lawful currency of the United States, or the orders or warrants of said counties, towns and cities respectively.
| Text of Section 11:
Levy and Appropriation of Taxes
No tax shall be levied except in pursuance of law, and every law imposing a tax shall state distinctly the object of the same; and no moneys arising from a tax levied for any purpose shall be used for any other purpose.
| Text of Section 12:
Disbursement of Funds - Appropriation Required
No money shall be paid out of the treasury until the same shall have been appropriated by law; and then only in accordance with said appropriation.
| Text of Section 13:
Any citizen of any county, city or town may institute suit, in behalf of himself and all others interested, to protect the inhabitants thereof against the enforcement of any illegal exactions whatever.
[Added by Const. Amend. 59.]
| Text of Section 14:
Procedure for Adjustment of Taxes After Reappraisal or Reassessment of Property
(a) Whenever a countywide reappraisal or reassessment of property subject to ad valorem taxes made in accordance with procedures established by the General Assembly shall result in an increase in the aggregate value of taxable real and personal property in any taxing unit in this State of ten percent (10%) or more over the previous year the rate of city or town, county, school district, and community college district taxes levied against the taxable real and personal property of each such taxing unit shall, upon completion of such reappraisal or reassessment, be adjusted or rolled back, by the governing body of the taxing unit, for the year for which levied as provided below. The General Assembly shall, by law, establish the procedures to be followed by a county in making a countywide reappraisal or reassessment of property which will, upon completion, authorize the adjustment or rollback of property tax rates or millage, as authorized hereinabove. The adjustment or rollback of tax rates or millage for the "base year" as hereinafter defined shall be designed to assure that each taxing unit will receive an amount of tax revenue from each tax source no greater than ten percent (10%) above the revenues received during the previous year from each such tax source, adjusted for any lawful tax or millage rate increase or reduction imposed in the manner provided by law for the year for which the tax adjustment or rollback is to be made, and after making the following additional adjustments:
Provided, further, that in calculating the amount of adjusted or rollback millage necessary to produce tax revenues no greater than ten percent (10%) above the revenues received during the previous year, the governing body shall separate from the assessed value of taxable real property of the taxing unit, newly-discovered real property and new construction and improvements to real property, after making the adjustments for personal property or property of public utilities and regulated carriers noted above, and shall compute the millage necessary to produce an amount of revenues equal to, but no greater than the base year revenues of the taxing unit from each millage source. Such taxing unit may elect either to obtain an increase in revenues equal to the amount of revenues that the computed or adjusted rollback millage will produce from newly-discovered real property and new construction and improvements to real property, or if the same be less than ten percent (10%), the governing body of the taxing unit may recompute the millage rate to be charged to produce an amount no greater than ten percent (10%) above the revenues collected for taxable real property during the base year.
Provided, however, that the amount of revenues to be derived from taxable personal property assessed in the taxing unit for the base year, other than personal property taxes to be paid by public utilities and regulated carriers in the manner provided hereinabove, shall be computed at the millage necessary to produce the same dollar amount of revenues derived during the current year in which the base year adjustment or rollback of millage is computed, and the millage necessary to produce the amount of revenues received from personal property taxes received by the taxing unit, for the base year shall be reduced annually as the assessed value of taxable personal property increases until the amount of revenues from personal property taxes, computed on the basis of the current year millage rates will produce an amount of revenues from taxable personal property equal to or greater than received during the base year, and thereafter the millage rates for computing personal property taxes shall be the millage rates levied for the current year.
Provided, however, that the taxes to be paid by public utilities and regulated carriers in the respective taxing units of the several counties of this State during the first five (5) calendar years in which taxes are levied on the taxable real and personal property as reassessed and equalized in each of the respective counties as a part of a statewide reappraisal program, shall be the greater of the following:
As used herein, the term "base year" shall mean the year in which a county completes reassessment and equalization of taxable real and personal property as a part of a statewide reappraisal program, and extends the adjusted or rolled back millage rates for the first time, as provided in subsection (a) of this Section, for the respective taxing units in such county for collection in the following year.
Current year of Taxes shall be current year taxes second period of (5) to which shall be added the following percentage of the years difference between the current year taxes and the base year taxes (if greater than current year taxes)
Provided, that in the event the aforementioned requirement for payment of taxes by public utilities and regulated carriers, or any class of utilities or carriers for the ten (10) year period noted above, shall be held by court decision to be contrary to the constitution or statutes of this State or of the Federal Government, the General Assembly may provide for other utilities or classes of carriers to receive the same treatment provided or required under the court order, if deemed necessary to promote equity between similar utilities or classes of carriers.
(b) The General Assembly shall, by law, provide for procedures to be followed with respect to adjusting ad valorem taxes or millage pledged for bonded indebtedness purposes, to assure that the adjusted or rolled-back rate of tax or millage levied for bonded indebtedness purposes will, at all times, provide a level of income sufficient to meet the current requirements of all principal, interest, paying agent fees, reserves, and other requirements of the bond indenture.
[Added by Const. Amend. 59.]
| Text of Section 15:
Assessment of Residential Property and Agricultural, Pasture, Timber, Residential and Commercial Land
(a) Residential property used solely as the principal place of residence of the owner thereof shall be assessed in accordance with its value as a residence, so long as said property is used as the principal place of residence of the owner thereof, and shall not be assessed in accordance with some other method of valuation until said property ceases to be used for such residential purpose. (b) Agricultural land, pasture land, timber land, residential and commercial land, excluding structures thereon, used primarily as such, shall be valued for taxation purposes under the provisions of Section 5 of this Article, upon the basis of its agricultural, pasture, timber, residential, or commercial productivity or use, and when so valued, such land shall be assessed at the same percentum of value and taxed at the same rate as other property subject to ad valorem taxes. (c) The General Assembly shall enact laws providing for the administration and enforcement of this Section and for the imposition of penalties for violations of this Section, or statutes enacted pursuant thereto.
[Added by Const. Amend. 59.]
| Text of Section 16:
Providing for Exemption of Value of Residence of Person 65 or over
The General Assembly, upon approval thereof by a vote of not less than three-fourths (3/4ths) of the members elected to each house, may provide that the valuation of real property actually occupied by its owner as a residence who is sixty-five (65) years of age, or older, may be exempt in such amount as may be determined by law, but no greater than the first Twenty Thousand Dollars ($20,000) in value thereof, as a homestead from ad valorem property taxes.