DF&A states that COLA funding is unavailable due to tax cut

Before communicating with you all we wanted to ensure that we had the correct information to share. We spoke with DFA Director, Richard Weiss and because of the tax cut passed during the fiscal session, as of today, the funding for the COLA is unavailable. We were told, however; that if the economy picks up and the revenue is available, the COLA can be reinstated.

Please know that we are disappointed. We know that you need and deserve the cost-of-living adjustment. We are so proud of those who participated in the postcard campaign. Unfortunately, this was an unexpected development that came late in the fiscal session. Do not allow this to discourage you from reaching out to your legislators and voicing your concerns regarding the needs of state employees. Your voice is needed more now than ever.

We were told that the state budget is reviewed daily and in light of this, we will continue to communicate with DF&A in hopes of positive news. Please expect an official notice from the Department of Finance and Administration in the next few weeks.

The merit bonus is separate and is funded through salary savings. We expect more information in May.



2 thoughts on “DF&A states that COLA funding is unavailable due to tax cut

  1. Not that I am not grateful that we will get the merit raise, it no longer raises pay and is taxed at a higher rate since the bonus is attached to our paycheck. State employees such as me, who do not make that much, desperately need a raise in pay due to the high cost of living. Roll over in employees is at an all time high where I work, and I (along with many more older employees) hear people leave constantly for higher pay and opportunity to move up. I have been with the state for 18 years, and people stayed when the merit raises were an actual raise on our paychecks. Along with the COLA, we had reason to stay. The rollover of employees is probably costing the state much more than these raises. People like me are finding it harder and harder to make ends meet in a stand still pay Administrative Specialist job, besides the fact that this will hurt our social security in the future.

  2. Dear Arkansas State Employees,

    I am disappointed that DF&A would release such a misleading statement to Arkansas employees. A state court ruled that DF&A cannot collect taxes on sand used in the hydraulic fracturing process and the legislature merely reinforced that decision by clearly defining state law. How in the world does the legislature passing language that simply affirms the court decision somehow become responsible for or even related to the employees COLA? The court decision by itself prevents the collection of taxes on the process in question. The tax exemption and the employee COLA are not related at all.

    We passed the budget and the tax exemption language and not one time was there ever the “threat” of state employees losing their COLA – that whole idea came about in the eleventh hour based upon political jockeying from the executive branch. Last, we have a $100 Million Dollar surplus available right now – this charade that no money is available is unnecessary, unproductive and unprofessional.

    I appreciate the hard work that state employees give in their respective positions and I believe that DF&A should cease and desist with this line of reasoning and quit playing politics with state employees.

    I look forward to addressing this situation at the next available legislative committee meeting.


    Sen. Jason Rapert
    District 35

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