Argenta's New Year's Eve countdown | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Argenta's New Year's Eve countdown

Posted By on Wed, Dec 31, 2008 at 7:47 AM

I wish I could link you to Jake Sandlin's detailed story in the Democrat-Gazette today about NLR Mayor Pat Hays' midnight school tax grab -- his plan to run a grievously flawed Tax Increment Finance plan through the City Council before it turns into a rotten pumpkin at the dawning of the New Year tonight.

Suffice it to say: As we've written before, the plan is shot through with problems. They include wildly hyped economic benefits (though the mayor did respond to our suggestion that the job creation number was inflated by reducing it by a third, though his estimate still includes some utterly fictional jobs at "restaurants and store"). All the statutory procedures for public notice and review by the state's economic development agency haven't been followed. The NLR School Board still opposes the raid on tax revenues. A neighboring hotel owner doesn't sound happy about the public paying for parking facilities for a competitor that he had to pay with private dollars. Attorneys still work to see if Hays can make even a shred of a colorable claim for the gerrymandered district he proposes to annex newly developed property into a new district with a hotel site. This is the only way he can claim tax revenues from projects completed without any TIF assistance.

A cautious leader with an acute brain would not push forward with this misbegotten scheme. That's not an accurate definition of NLR's maximum boss. A lawsuit is sure to follow if Hays persists.


Just a few of the problems cited in the D-G today:

The economic development commission’s concerns included: A lack of a complete economic analysis; how an estimated 350 new jobs would be created; the lack of a bond repayment schedule; absence of listing the annual debt service on $3.5 million in redevelopment bonds and a discrepancy in the increment amount available based on a disputed millage amount.

The revised project plan reduces the number of jobs estimated to be created by the completed project from approximately 350 jobs, “exclusive” of construction jobs, to 220 fulland part-time positions at the hotel, conference center, restaurants and stores, when the maximum numbers projected are used.



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • TGIF: News roundup, open line

    The week-ending news roundup and open line.
    • Oct 19, 2018
  • Rich white people fund PAC behind racist attack ads supporting French Hill UPDATE

    More reporting on the people contributing to Black Americans for the President's Agenda, which is running racist ads in Little Rock in support of Republican Rep. French Hill. The money isn't coming from black Americans, but wealthy conservative Republicans such as an owner of the San Francisco Giants. GOP feeling heat, files ethics complaint on ad.
    • Oct 19, 2018
  • Another made-up Republican attack: The Saline County socialists are coming to take your business

    The latest in bogus Republican political attacks comes from Saline County, where Steve Lux, chairman of the county Republican Committee, has sent a letter warning members of the Benton-Bryant Chamber of Commerce that a progressive group working to elect Democrats in the county is allied with a socialist group that wants nothing less than "the elimination of private business." This is, of course, nonsense.
    • Oct 19, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Free Zinn book for Arkansas teachers

    Arkansas teachers! Get your free Howard Zinn book here! Whether Kim Hendren likes it or not.
    • Mar 3, 2017
  • Among the last words from Kenneth Williams: 'Finger Lickin' Good Fried Chicken'

    What's purported to be a final-words essay from condemned prisoner Kenneth Williams was distributed today by Deborah Robinson, a freelance journalist in Arkansas.  He reflects on his execution, his victims, reactions of inmates and big servings of fried chicken, which he says are given to all inmates on execution days.
    • Apr 27, 2017
  • Baseball fans have a new place to stay

    If you missed out on Razorback baseball home games this year because you couldn’t find a great place to stay, your problem is now solved: Staybridge Suites of Fayetteville is now fully renovated and located directly across from Baum Stadium, with free parking for hotel guests.
    • May 22, 2017


  • Arkansas vs Ole Miss at War Memorial stadium in Little Rock, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. After leading for much of the game, Arkansas lost 37-33 when Ole Miss scored the game winning Touchdown with less that 2 minutes left. 
  • Margaret Clark Adventure Park
    New sculptures, preschoolers play area dedicated in Riverfront Park in Little Rock.

Most Recent Comments


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