Spending the surplus | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, May 9, 2006

Spending the surplus

Posted By on Tue, May 9, 2006 at 2:08 PM

This morning on KARN, the governor didn't get around to his vendetta against the Arkansas Times. But he did float the notion of rebating some of the mounting state surplus as a sop to people laboring under high fuel costs. We don't think a rebate in Arkansas makes any more sense than the  idea floated by Senate Republicans, and quickly scuttled, for a similar federal rebates. It's crass politics with no lasting value or impact on the situation that created the burden.

We confess. Our inclination is to consider wise investments first. Education, including a huge mandate for more facilities work. Universal health care. Bulging prisons. But if that's wildly optimistic, how about a serious and definitive proposal to use this opportunity to begin a reduction of the sales tax on groceries? That's a gift that would keep on giving to strapped workers, long after a $100 rebate was spent up and gone. Problem: the city and county lobbies, heavily dependent on sales tax revenue, wouldn't want to give up their tax on groceries.

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