Arkansas Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities

inclusion. integration. independence.

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2023 Legislative Session – Week 1

HB 1046: “A Small Step” By Jon Taylor

The Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities draws from the values identified in the federal Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act in evaluating and responding to current and future policy and funding issues that might affect the developmental disabilities community. The council supports legislation that advances the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in all facets of community life by eliminating barriers, creating opportunities, empowering people, and promoting innovation. One of those facets is transportation.

The Council supports the position that transportation options – both public and private– are essential to quality of life and integration into the community. And those options must meet the needs of Arkansans with disabilities in a safe, reliable, convenient, accessible, timely, and affordable manner. One possible option to improve affordability is Arkansas House Bill 1046 (HB 1046).

Authored by State Representative David Ray of Maumelle, HB 1046 is designed to make wheelchair accessible vehicles more affordable. Under HB 1046, a new or used wheelchair accessible motor vehicle would be exempt from sales and use taxes. That exemption would also extend to the purchase of services needed to make a motor vehicle wheelchair accessible.

This proposed legislation came to be during a breakfast meeting at Cracker Barrel, where Rep. Ray was meeting with two of his constituents. Both disabled veterans, they shared their frustrations with Rep. Ray about how long it took to get the supports they needed, and how much it cost to get a vehicle that could accommodate their wheelchairs. And that cost, like all vehicles, includes taxes.

According to Rep. Ray, exempting wheelchair accessible vehicles from sales and use taxes “seems like the least we could do to help Arkansans who are facing significant mobility struggles because of their disability. It may feel like just a small step. But it is a step. And any action that makes transportation for people with disabilities more affordable is a positive one.

As with any proposed legislation, the Council believes that Arkansans should make their own decisions. To see HB 1046 on the Arkansas State Legislature’s website, click this link: HB1046 Bill Information – Arkansas State Legislature. Read the bill and decide for yourself.

About the Arkansas Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities

The Council is a federally funded state agency that promotes integration, inclusion and independence for Arkansans with developmental disabilities. Council members are self-advocates, relatives and/or caregivers of individuals with DD, state agency directors, and representation from nonprofit and private organizations. The Council works to encourage self-advocacy; to remove barriers to information, services and support; to advocate for policy changes; to develop and support coalitions; and to educate community leaders. For more information about the Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities and its mission, browse more pages on this website, or call 501-682-2897. Follow the Council on Facebook and Twitter @gcddar. You can also find Arkansas GCDD on YouTube.