The Little Rock sales tax debate continues:

* A speaker who said he supported the sales tax proposal and thought it generally fair objected to the disproportionate cuts in parks expenditures when the city reduced a 1.25-cent proposal to the pending 1-cent proposal. He urged greater spending on parks if more money comes in than expected.

Advertisement

* Michael Douglas, the director of UAMS BioVentures, said the existing program, in 8,000 square feet of existing space, had created jobs through new ventures over its first six or seven years — 418 employees in 19 companies who generated $21 milllion in wages, relatively well paid technical jobs.

* The dog-and-pony show by supporters of the chamber’s economic development plan (the first of what will be on ongoing effort to shift their expenditures onto taxpayers completely in time) continually emphasized how it would contribute to regional development. Director Kenneth Richardson noted the “irony” of paying for regional development with a CITY sales tax. He remains focused on how much of these benefits really stay in the city paying for the handouts. Me, too.

Advertisement

At 7:30 p.m., after 2.5 hours of meeting, the board is taking a break. More to come.

Help to Keep Great Journalism Alive in Arkansas

Imagine the power of a dedicated voice bringing to light the challenges and triumphs of Arkansas’s largest industry. With a $25,000 match from Report For America, the Arkansas Times will bring on a reporter dedicated to covering agricultural and environmental issues in The Natural State. This role is crucial: agriculture employs 243,000 Arkansans and generates $19 billion annually. Help us ensure that our farmers and agricultural workers are given the coverage they deserve. Your donation makes a direct impact—support local journalism that supports Arkansas.

Previous article Public weighs in on tax proposal Next article City Board puts sales tax on ballot