Money, that's what they want | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Money, that's what they want

Posted By on Wed, Sep 17, 2008 at 2:26 PM

A good report from Roby Brock at Talk Business on the Arkansas Economic Development Commission's annual report and wish list.

In short: More and more and more corporate welfare is what they wish. Cuz, see, the free market and entrepreneurial spirit and the American way are just bull**** phrases that businessmen throw around. What they really want is taxpayer money to lower risk and raise profit margins. Wouldn't you?

There's a lot to worry about in this list.

For example: I know everybody thinks windmill building is today's sliced bread, but it's a business that wouldn't work without taxpayer subsidies and, like everything, it's not a one-dimensional issue.

But the AEDC's constitutional tinkering is very scary stuff indeed. 1) Approving a property tax for economic development spending? 2) Making it easier to tap super project money -- in other words, projects need not be so super? 3) Allowing the state to invest in private businesses? Thanks, but the U.S. is doing quite enough of that at the moment.

It is a pipe dream to think that politicians, given tax money for economic development or business investment would allot it apolitically.

But the worst  idea of all is to allow sales taxes to be devoted to Tax Increment Finance District projects. Hoping to tap school property taxes for their TIFs, but mostly denied, the real estate developers now want to take local sales taxes to build their shopping centers. It would be one thing if this proposal would prohibit retail stores from keeping their sales taxes. But odds are -- with shopping center developer Bruce Burrow a long-time memberr of AEDC -- that retailers and shopping centers are what this is all about.

TIFs will still mostly work only in areas that are booming and don't need government incentives to grow in the first place -- Rogers, Jonesboro, etc. You can bet Bruce Burrow won't be proposing a Bass Pro for Eudora, even with a sales tax set aside. We hope the Municipal League and Association of Counties will be on guard for those who'd raid the money to build jail cells, hire cops and fight fires to build sporting goods stores.


Favorite

Comments (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • UA-Little Rock copes with enrollment decline and charter high school

    UA-Little Rock is facing a financial pinch because of a sharp drop in enrollment and Chancellor Andrew Rogerson talked bluntly about it Friday in a campus meeting, remarks that included a reference to simmering unhappiness over the eStem charter high school that opened on campus last year.
    • Sep 22, 2018
  • Huckabee used to promote re-election of tax cheat Mickey Gates

    A reader reports that re-election billboards for felony-charged tax deadbeat Mickey Gates, the Republican state representative from Hot Springs, feature an endorsement by Mike Huckabee.
    • Sep 22, 2018
  • Demonstrators, small crowd greet Mike Pence at French Hill rally

    Demonstrators have been allowed near the front door of the Statehouse Convention Center where carefully screened guests, not many, will be enjoying Mike Pence's endorsement of Republican Rep. French Hill. Plenty of security and I think it might be more fun outside.
    • Sep 21, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Your daily dose of Jason Rapert

    Sen. Jason Rapert really, really didn't like it when a KATV reporter asked him about the hypocrisy of his political arguments.
    • Feb 4, 2017
  • Latest Obamacare repeal bill would hit Arkansas treasury hard

    The latest effort to undo Obamacare, the Graham-Cassidy legislation, would shift federal support for health coverage to a block grant system to the states. Bad news for Arkansas.
    • Sep 18, 2017
  • Payday lenders on the march at legislature

    Payday lenders are working hard to get legislative cover for the reintroduction of their usurious loan business to Arkansas. Some are fighting back.
    • Mar 10, 2017

Slideshows

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation