Narrowing the constitutional amendments | Arkansas Blog

Monday, March 21, 2011

Narrowing the constitutional amendments

Posted By on Mon, Mar 21, 2011 at 12:44 PM

It appears the Joint House-Senate State Agencies committee will have seven proposed constitutional amendments from which to choose a maximum of three to refer to voters. The House today sent five to join two from the Senate for joint consideration.

Full details here from Roby Brock.

They are a pretty bad lot. Republican Sen. Jake Files wants to authorize a scam already in use in other states to set up development districts in which private companies can get subsidies by grabbing the state sales tax on their enterprises rather than sending them out for distribution to all state taxpayers. There's no prohibition on using state tax money to subsidize retail stores, a non-addition to a state's gross product. In some states, these so-called STAR bonds have been sought to subsidize Walmarts. It's a lose-lose for taxpayers statewide. I'm still looking to see if this could operate like some scams in Texas where undeveloped areas are established as tax districts and a single voter is moved onto the property to establish residency and vote in the district.

Republican Rep. Jonathan Barnett wants a half-cent sales tax to build freeways to nowhere. This $180 million annual sales tax increase would, in a year, raise five times the savings supposedly generated by the tax-cutting demons of this General Assembly.

The only true cost-cutting and non-special-interest offering comes from Rep. Keith Ingram, who'd abolish two offices that are little more than the proverbial teats on a boar hog — lieutenant governor and land commissioner. Hold your horse before you cry partisan foul. I've been for a reduction in constitutional offices — throw in the treasurer, too — since the days when only Democrats held them.

Republican Rep. Ann Clemmer's amendment to require 35 percent of lottery income to go to scholarships would make playing the lottery so unprofitable that revenue — and scholarships — would drop. It's a lottery killer. That's OK with me, but I'd rather do it straight up.

Wait. Rep. Jim Nickels' idea to return to legislative sessions every two years would save money — and untold aggravation.

Ma and Junior Hutchinson want to mess with the Highway Commission in two proposals.

Tags: , , ,


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 Athletic Department gets approval for more construction

    KNWA reports on University of Arkansas Board of Trustees approval today of roughly $50 million worth of athletic department construction projects on the Fayetteville campus.
    • Nov 15, 2018
  • Kurrus says he'd take control of police chief selection process

    Baker Kurrus, in the runoff with Frank Scott Jr. for Little Rock mayor, is trying to establish himself as an agent of change and he illustrated one obvious point today: When it comes to choosing a new police chief, he sees the mayor, not the city manager, as the leader of that process.
    • Nov 15, 2018
  • Asa's tax cuts heavily favor the rich

    Numbers don't lie. Check out the latest analysis by Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families on winners and losers under Gov. Asa Hutchinson's plan to cut income taxes by more than $200 million over four years, primarily by a whopping reduction of 15 percent in the top marginal tax rate, from 6.9 to 5.9 percent.
    • Nov 15, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…


  • 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