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 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...

Comments (14)

Showing 1-14 of 14

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-14 of 14

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Arkansas Supreme Court denies rehearing in death penalty challenge, but delays mandate

    The Arkansas Supreme Court today refused to rehear the case denying Death Row inmates information about drugs used by the state in the lethal injection process.
    • Jul 21, 2016
  • Welspun layoffs: Another example of corporate welfare folly

    Layoffs at the Welspun pipe plant in Little Rock are a reminder of the folly of corporate welfare and the inability of Arkansas to separate itself from global economic forces. See the Fayetteville shale. And keep a watchful eye on that Sun Paper pulp mill proposed near Arkadelphia.
    • Jul 21, 2016
  • Hamburg bank manager gets 21 months for theft

    Melinda Gwin, 49, of Hamburg has been sentenced to 21 months in federal prison and ordered to repay $210,875 stolen from the First National Bank of Crossett. She was sentenced in El Dorado federal court, according to a Justice Department news release.
    • Jul 21, 2016
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • The Thursday open line: Plus Garth Brooks

    Here's an open line and video headlines. Garth Brooks said hello to Little Rock before his Verizon shows. Sen. Jason Rapert horned in on the event to grab some attention for himself.
    • Dec 11, 2014
  • Following the money on the Walton-Hutchinson takeover of Little Rock schools

    Judgment day nears on HB 1733, which would implement the Walton billionaires' aim to take over the Little Rock School District. Their tentacles are many. And don't be confused by assurances that they only want a moderate amount of so-called reform.
    • Mar 15, 2015
  • Father and son turned away from "Muslim-free" Hot Springs gun range for being brown

    A college student and his dad who visited a gun range over the weekend for some bonding time over target practice were told to leave after the owner grew suspicious that the pair were...Muslims! Nope, not Muslims — they just happened to not be white. Either way, though, it's rank discrimination.
    • Jan 13, 2015

Most Shared

  • Tackling autism, child by child

    An Arkansas Children's Hospital doctor is testing a new drug that targets one of a host of ailments the highly individual disorder can cause.
  • 1957 all over again

    Last week, the State Board of Education voted to ignore federal courts and allow school district transfers that will encourage segregation.
  • Death penalty lives

    Barely clinging to its flagging life, the death penalty got a merciful reprieve last month from the unlikeliest quarter, the Arkansas Supreme Court.
  • Drinking culture

    Here we go again. At the rate these campus sexual abuse sagas are making news, it's reasonable to ask what college administrators can possibly be thinking about.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation