Find out more →

Get unlimited access. Become a digital member!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Again with the sales tax for a bridge

Posted By on Fri, Oct 7, 2011 at 7:07 AM

BRIDGE OF DREAMS: A Santiago Calatrava design for a replacement Interstate 30 bridge in Dallas didn't fly because of failure to raise enough money local for the enhanced design. A $12 million contribution from the Hunt family did allow Dallas to build a Calatrava bridge for another Trinity River Crossing.
  • BRIDGE OF DREAMS: A Santiago Calatrava design for a replacement Interstate 30 bridge in Dallas didn't fly because of failure to raise enough money local for the enhanced design. A $12 million contribution from the Hunt family did allow Dallas to build a Calatrava bridge for another Trinity River Crossing.

BRIDGE OF DREAMS: A Santiago Calatrava design for a replacement Interstate 30 bridge in Dallas didnt fly because of failure to raise enough money local for the enhanced design. A $12 million contribution from the Hunt family did allow Dallas to build a Calatrava bridge for another Trinity River Crossing.
  • BRIDGE OF DREAMS: A Santiago Calatrava design for a replacement Interstate 30 bridge in Dallas didn't fly because of failure to raise enough money local for the enhanced design. A $12 million contribution from the Hunt family did allow Dallas to build a Calatrava bridge for another Trinity River Crossing.

I can't believe it. Wait. Of course I can believe it. County Judge Buddy Villines is talking — and nobody much seems to be objecting — to increasing the sales tax AGAIN to build a fancy Broadway bridge over the Arkansas River. (He didn't say sales tax in article this morning. He just said taxes. But the sales tax is the only tool local governments have to hammer residents with.)

Oh, sure, it will be one of those "public/private" partnerships. But if experience is any guide, private contributions will be token, at best (see naming rights to Verizon Arena and skyboxes.) The real tab (see sales tax) will be borne by the poorest people at Little Rock when they buy a Big Mac, a pair of jeans or a can of motor oil.

If we're to be gouged, I hope the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce steps up with, oh, say $200,000. It has that amount each year in taxpayer money to throw around. Or maybe Mayor Stodola's economic development slush fund could contribute a few dimes. Or perhaps Mayor Hays could direct a little of the electric rates gouged out of North Little Rock and Sherwood customers away from his projects to this bridge.

Privately funded major public projects just don't happen very often in Little Rock. Walton-backed charter schools are not really an exception — public tax dollars provide most of the money for those. UAMS has had some nice gifts, but without the federal dollars backing patients in the new buildings, they'd have to turn off the lights.

Even Dallas, with an abundance of millionaires, hasn't been able to come up with sufficient money to build three signature Trinity River bridges, though the Hunt family did come up with $12 million for one of them.

Tags: , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

  • Police residency requirement fails

    June 17, 2015
    As predicted here, the City Board of Directors voted against an ordinance to require new police officer hires to be residents of Little Rock. The vote was 6 to 4, with Directors Erma Hendrix, who introduced the ordinance; Ken Richardson, Doris Wright and Kathy Webb voting for passage. Webb's vote kept the board from dividing along racial lines on the ordinance. /more/
  • City Board to take up residency requirement for police tonight

    June 16, 2015
    The City Board is set to vote tonight on an ordinance to require future police officers to reside in Little Rock. The ordinance was drafted at the request of Ward 1 Director Erma Hendrix. Directors Ken Richardson and Doris Wright, the board's other African American members, support the ordinance. Director Kathy Webb said today she is "leaning" toward supporting it, "but I am still not 100 percent decided." /more/
  • Little Rock, cops, schools and race

    June 10, 2015
    The Little Rock City Board demonstrated last night some surprising sentiment in support of a residency requirement for Little Rock cops. That won't solve problems in a city too ready to blame schools (many of them excellent) for city problems linked more to race and economics. /more/
  • Erma Hendrix and the battle over bikes

    May 26, 2015
    Much unhappiness on the Downtown Little Rock Neighborhood Facebook page about Ward 1 City Director Erma Hendrix's stifling of a plan to restripe Chester Street to include a marked bicycle lane. It's part of the city's Complete Streets program to encourage use of right of way for all, including bicycles and walkers and runners, not just cars. /more/
  • Griffen: Riot gear purchase panders to 'storm trooper mentality'

    May 20, 2015
    Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen writes that Little Rock is pandering to a storm trooper mentality by purchasing riot gear for police rather than focusing on better training of officers and more community policing in city unmarked by riots but also marked by questionable police actions in the deaths of black people. /more/
  • City to still seek grant for Riverfront Drive bike trail, but not to narrow vehicle lanes

    May 1, 2015
    Neighborhood objections have prompted the city of Little Rock to alter a federal grant application to improve the room provided for bicycles on Riverfront Drive. /more/
  • More »

Comments (13)

Showing 1-13 of 13

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-13 of 13

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Most Shared

Most Viewed

  • UPDATE: Special prosecutor to handle Hot Springs child's death

    A special prosecutor, Scott Ellington of Jonesboro, was appointed today to investigate the death last week of the child of Circuit Judge Wade Naramore, who handles juvenile cases in Garland County.
  • Reports: Judge's son in Hot Springs death

    All Little Rock TV stations reported Saturday night, quoting unnamed sources, that the two-year-old boy found dead in a car in Hot Springs Friday afternoon was the son of Circuit Judge Wade Naramore, who handles juvenile cases.
  • Smalley pleads guilty to one count, charges related to TC Edwards dropped

    A Pulaski County prosecutor today asked that five counts pending against Andre Demetrius Smalley be dropped, including three counts involving the aggravated robbery of Little Rock musician Terry Charles "TC" Edwards. Smalley plead guilty today to a single count of battery, a class B felony, in the shooting of a Little Rock man last April. Smalley's sentencing on that count has been set for September.
  • Small crowd, no problems at KKK rally in Monticello

    Monticello Live rounded up what news there was to report from an uneventful Ku Klux Klan rally held near Monticello Saturday night, including the ritual cross burning.
  • Another week begins

    Here's the Monday open line, daily video and the monthly report on Obamacare for Arkansas.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2015 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation