Favorite

Polling on new city tax 

We reported on the Arkansas Blog recently about receiving a call from an opinion research firm on an expected proposal to renew a Little Rock property tax millage for roads and drainage. The questions centered on Mayor Mark Stodola's idea to reduce the millage rate from 3.3 to 3 mills. The drop in bond interest rates means the city could still have more money for bond issue-backed work.

Questions also focused on opinions about the mayor, city board and Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce.

The same sort of polling preceded the formation of a committee housed and run by the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce in support of a recent increase in the city sales tax. Though the mayor and chamber later disputed that this was a chamber operation, it clearly was. Chamber CEO Jay Chesshir even testified before the state Ethics Commission in defense of the secrecy in reporting of campaign expenditures and financial expenditures by the Chamber. He exploited a poorly drafted law that the Ethics Commission hopes to correct in 2013, the chamber willing (which it isn't.)

So we asked the mayor about the polling. We also asked Chesshir and a representative of the consulting firm through which all the sales tax campaign money had passed so as to shield how it was spent. Only Stodola responded, saying that none of the questions were considered by him or anyone else in City Hall and that he didn't know who had paid for the poll, but guessed that members of the business community were likely behind it.

Stodola did promise in his note that there'd be no money for the Little Rock Technology Park in the property tax millage. The question is important because the $22 million in tax dollars the city has committed to the park is only a down payment on an estimated $50 million-plus to get the park off the ground. So far, apart from token sums from the UAMS, UALR and Children's Hospital, the only real money on hand is the flow of tax pennies from grocery, clothing, car and utility purchases and restaurant meals.

Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Most Shared

  • World leaders set to meet in Little Rock on resource access and sustainable development

    Next week a series of meetings on the use of technology to tackle global problems will be held in Little Rock by Club de Madrid — a coalition of more than 100 former democratic former presidents and prime ministers from around the world — and the P80 Group, a coalition of large public pension and sovereign wealth funds founded by Prince Charles to combat climate change. The conference will discuss deploying existing technologies to increase access to food, water, energy, clean environment, and medical care.
  • Tomb to table: a Christmas feast offered by the residents of Mount Holly and other folk

    Plus, recipes from the Times staff.
  • Fake news

    So fed up was young Edgar Welch of Salisbury, N.C., that Hillary Clinton was getting away with running a child-sex ring that he grabbed a couple of guns last Sunday, drove 360 miles to the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington, D.C., where Clinton was supposed to be holding the kids as sex slaves, and fired his AR-15 into the floor to clear the joint of pizza cravers and conduct his own investigation of the pedophilia syndicate of the former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state.
  • Reality TV prez

    There is almost nothing real about "reality TV." All but the dullest viewers understand that the dramatic twists and turns on shows like "The Bachelor" or "Celebrity Apprentice" are scripted in advance. More or less like professional wrestling, Donald Trump's previous claim to fame.
  • Arkansas archeologist does his job, is asked to leave

    Amid Department of Arkansas Heritage project.

Latest in The Insider

  • All in the family

    Old habits die hard. We may have a new Republican majority in the legislature, but like the old Democratic majority, it still doesn't hurt to have a lawmaker spouse to land a part-time job during the legislative session.
    • Jan 30, 2013
  • 'Circuit breaker' legal

    When we first asked Gov. Mike Beebe about the "circuit breaker" idea out of Arizona (automatically opting out of Medicaid expansion if the feds reduce the matching rates in the future), he said it was fine but noted that states can already opt out at any time, an assurance he got in writing from the feds.
    • Jan 30, 2013
  • Church goes to school in Conway

    An interesting controversy is brewing in Conway Public Schools, periodically a scene of discord as more liberal constituents object to the heavy dose of religion that powerful local churches have tried to inject into the schools, particularly in sex education short on science and long on abstinence.
    • Jan 23, 2013
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

View Trumpeter Swans in Heber Springs

View Trumpeter Swans in Heber Springs

Magness Lake, in Heber Springs, is a magnet for swans

Event Calendar

« »

December

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

 

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