Mayor Mark Stodola, in pushing for a 1.25-cent increase in Little Rock’s sales tax, emphasizes how low our current rate is against other cities in Arkansas.

He provided the chart on the jump, which compares rates in the 50 largest cities in Arkansas. With the increase (a half-cent of which would be for eight years, not permanent), Little Rock would still have a rate below 15 cities.

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How the money is to be spent remains a critical question. The $40 million corporate welfare slush fund — without specific promises of transparency or accountability — remains a real problem for me, though there’s no doubt our needs for help for police, fire, street and other basic city services are real. Which reminds of another problem — the reluctance of city leaders to press policies to encourage more city workers to live in the city that pays them.

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