FILE - Election 2022 Ribbon

(The Center Square) - Three people vying to be Arkansas' next governor had differing views on cutting taxes in a Friday debate.

Republican Sarah Huckabee Sanders proposed eliminating the state's income tax.

"One of the most important things we can do is let people keep more of their money," Huckabee Sanders said. "Help them at a time when they need it and fight back against inflation and record high gas prices that our people have experienced. We need to allow them to keep their money in their pocket. We are going to do that by continuing to responsibly phase out income tax. This has to be a priority."

Democrat Chris Jones said he was in favor of slashing taxes but eliminating the state income tax would come at a cost to the state's citizens.

"You cannot eliminate 55% of the state revenue and then not cut something unless you end up like Texas, where property tax goes through the roof, Jones said. "What are you saying to our farmers? Or you end up like Florida, where sales taxes goes through the roof. What do you say to the one in four kids who go to bed hungry, going to bed hungry and they're figuring out how to pay for food? Or you end up like Kansas, where the education system collapses. We can cut taxes and we can spread PB&J across the state, which is preschool, broadband and jobs. There are resources we can leverage, but we have to do this in a responsible way."

Libertarian Ricky Dale Harrington said he was in favor of eliminating the grocery tax and sales taxes.

"I cannot even believe that Arkansas ever had a tax on the food that goes in people's mouth," Harrington said. "That is an immoral tax and I cannot believe it happened. Another thing, I would like to fight for getting the sales tax cut. That's what I'd like to do. It is also a double tax on people's income."

The candidates were asked what experience and qualifications they have best suited them for the role of governor. Huckabee Sanders, the former press secretary for former President Donald Trump, cited her previous government experience and leadership.

Jones, a physicist and minister, listed his entrepreneurial and budgeting skills. Harrington, who worked for the Arkansas Department of Corrections as a chaplain, focused on his desire and experiences on helping others in his role as a pastor.

The event was part of the Arkansas PBS debate series.