Saturday, November 3, 2012

The core dishonesty on Issue 2 requires NO vote

Posted By on Sat, Nov 3, 2012 at 7:08 AM

REDEVELOPMENT? Mall at Turtle Creek in Jonesboro, which benefited from an earlier stab at a redevelopment amendment, would have been built with or without taxpayer subsidy, officials said at the time. Issue 2 heads down that same road.
  • REDEVELOPMENT? Mall at Turtle Creek in Jonesboro, which benefited from an earlier stab at a redevelopment amendment, would have been built with or without taxpayer subsidy, officials said at the time. Issue 2 heads down that same road.
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Michael Wickline wrote a thorough analysis of little-discussed (pay wall) Issue 2, another get-rich scheme for developers that is mostly flying under radar this election season. As I've said before, the Koch Bros.' paid mouthpiece in Arkansas, Teresa Oelke, quoted in the article, is dead right on this issue.

The constitutional scheme before voters Tuesday to allow local sales taxes to subsidize private retail development is nothing but corporate welfare, with no proven benefit to anyone except the corporation receiving the handout. They call it economic development or, worse, "redevelopment." But no retail store ever created new demand for socks, underwear, shotguns or anything else. It only shifted the business from somewhere else. If private businesses want to invest some money in, say, a Southwest Little Rock shopping center to build a giant sporting goods store that would cripple other sporting goods stores in the rest of Little Rock, Benton, North Little Rock or wherever, let them do it with their own dimes.

Read the language carefully:

Issue 2 would allow “the acquisition, development, redevelopment, and revitalization of land within the district, for eliminating or preventing the development or spread of slums or blighted, deteriorated, or deteriorating areas, for discouraging the loss of commerce, industry, or employment, for increasing employment, or any combination ... as may be defined by the General Assembly.” My emphasis supplied

There's all kind of cloaking language about redevelopment and revitalization but it is not REQUIRED by the plain language. To qualify for the handout, a business need only demonstrate it has bought land to open a business that will employ someone, even if it means a loss of jobs and resulting blight elsewhere. A Little Rock developer could get a tax subsidy to build a Brooks Brothers store in ritzy Pulaski Heights.

We went down this road before with the tax increment finance amendment, another developer boondoggle upended when the Supreme Court wouldn't let developers plunder school tax money for shopping centers. Now they're back trying to cadge sales tax money.

Remember Amendment 78, the "city and county government redeveloment" amendment"? It provided:

For purposes of this section, the term "redevelopment project" means an undertaking for eliminating, or preventing the development or spread of, slums or blighted, deteriorated, or deteriorating areas, for discouraging the loss of commerce, industry, or employment, or for increasing employment, or any combination thereof, as may be defined by the General

Again, I supplied emphasis in the passage above. All that claptrap about redevelopment was just a cloak for the real purpose, subsidies for developers in the richest cities. Create a job and you qualify, even if you kill jobs elsewhere with your project. One of the few projects shoved through under this handout before it (the TIF handout scheme) foundered was the Turtle Creek Mall in Jonesboro, in a better part of town, that further damaged competitively an older shopping center. Some redevelopment. Go-go Rogers and Little Rock and North Little Rock developers also were licking their chops and you can be sure they weren't targeting the ghetto.

It's another bite at the same apple. Vote NO ON ISSUE 2. The Kochs and the Arkansas Times, together at last.

Tags: , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store


Speaking of...

Comments (17)

Showing 1-17 of 17

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-17 of 17

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Executionpalooza

    Appearances count. I was struck by a single sentence over the weekend in a full page of coverage in The New York Times devoted to the killing spree in Arkansas, beginning with a front-page account of the recent flurry of legal filings on pending executions and continuing inside with an interview with Damien Echols, the former death row inmate.
    • Apr 20, 2017
  • Death Row inmates argue to keep stay of execution in place; urge 8th Circuit not to 'rush' analysis

    Early this morning, attorneys for nine Death Row inmates, filed an argument with the 8th United States Court of Appeals contesting the state's effort to override Judge Kristine Baker's order Saturday that halted executions scheduled this month.
    • Apr 17, 2017
  • Federal judge denies execution stay for Don Davis but larger stay continues

    Don Davis, who's been moved to the killing facility of the state prison for killing tonight at 7 p.m. if a stay of execution is lifted in another federal suit, sought a stay in another federal court Sunday, but the request was denied.
    • Apr 17, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • FOI lawsuit filed for State Police firing records on ABC enforcement boss Boyce Hamlet

    Russell Racop has filed, as promised, his lawsuit over the State Police's refusal — under guidance from Attorney General Leslie Rutledge — to release records that provide information that led to the firing of current Alcoholic Beverage Control Enforcement Director Boyce Hamlet as a state trooper.
    • Sep 9, 2015
  • Arkansas Times Recommends: A Literary Edition

    Arkansas Times Recommends is a series in which Times staff members (or whoever happens to be around at the time) highlight things we've been enjoying this week.
    • Jul 1, 2016
  • State Police issues statement on Jason Rapert 'threats'

    The State Police have issued a minor clarification in what appears to be an effort to soothe an enraged Sen. Jason Rapert, exposed here as overly excited about both a Conway parking lot question from a constituent as well as some inflammatory Internet rhetoric that he's interpreted as a dire threat on his life. State cops took his reports seriously, they say. But in the end, they found nothing actionable.
    • Sep 15, 2015

Most Shared

  • Judge Griffen writes about morality, Christian values and executions

    Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen, who blogs at Justice is a verb!, sends along a new post this morning.
  • The Ledell Lee execution thread

    Arkansas Times contributor Jacob Rosenberg is at the Cummins Unit in Grady filing dispatches tonight in advance of the expected execution of Ledell Lee, who was sentenced to death for the Feb. 9, 1993, murder of Debra Reese, 26, who was beaten to death in the bedroom of her home in Jacksonville.

Visit Arkansas

Haralson, Smith named to Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame

Haralson, Smith named to Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame

Chuck Haralson and Ken Smith were inducted into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame during the 43rd annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism

Most Viewed

  • The Jack Jones, Marcel Williams execution thread

    The Arkansas Department of Correction is planning for the first double execution in the U.S. in 16 years tonight. Jack Jones, 52,  and Marcell Williams, 46, are scheduled to die by lethal injection. They would be the second and third prisoners put to death as part of a hurried schedule Governor Hutchinson set in advance of the state's supply of one of the three drugs used in the execution protocol expiring on April 30.
  • Lee's lawyer writes about executed man's last hours

    Lee Short, the lawyer for Ledell Lee, the man Arkansas put to death just before midnight last night, posted on Facebook the following letter of thanks for personal support and a bit about Lee's last hours, distributing his possessions and talking to family.
  • Legislature set to tackle changes to "Arkansas Works" Medicaid expansion in special session

    The governor is expected to call the special session to get legislative approval of his proposed alterations to the private option (now known as "Arkansas Works"). Here's what to look for.
  • Supreme Court hears arguments in case that led to stays for two Arkansas death row inmates

    The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in an appeal yesterday that asks the court to rule that indigent criminal defendants are entitled to an independent expert witness. The case, McWilliams v. Dunn, goes back to the 1984 capital murder conviction of James McWilliams, who raped and murdered a woman in Tuscaloosa, Ala., during a robbery. But the high court's decision will also directly affect the fates of Don Davis and Bruce Ward, Arkansas death row prisoners who were slated to die this month, but given a reprieve by the Arkansas Supreme Court, which issued a stay in each execution, pending the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in McWilliams in June.

Most Recent Comments




© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation