Late news notes: Schools and taxes | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Late news notes: Schools and taxes

Posted By on Wed, Sep 14, 2011 at 7:38 PM

Several things arrived by e-mail worth mentioning:

* RICK PERRY'S TEXANISM: Get your Gene Lyons early here, courtesy of Salon, a good explanation of Cowboy Rick Perry.

* LITTLE ROCK SCHOOL NEWS: Here's the appellate brief by Chris Heller and Clay Fendley for the Little Rock School District in which they eat the lunch of the attorney general's office in reply to its motion to end state school desegregation funding without a hearing, without evidence, without arguments and without an answer to the city's contention that the state hasn't lived up to its end of the consent decree in attempting to stop segregation.

* LITTLE ROCK SALES TAX: On the jump is the full statement from Arkansas Community Organizations, which — on a shoestring budget with grassroots energy — mobilized strong opposition Tuesday to the Little Rock sales tax increase, a secretive, real estate-industry funded campaign that spent probably 25 times as much, but still lost in most of the city, save a criitical vote in what Orval Faubus once called the limousine liberal wards. Key quotes:

Those who will bear the greatest burden of this regressive tax for the most part voted against it. Those who are wealthier voted in large numbers for it. City Hall will soon collect $1 million in new revenue every week for the next ten years. ...

“More money to do the “same old, same old” on a bigger scale is not progress. The issues of fair representation in city government, sustainable growth, development that creates living wage jobs for Little Rock residents and many others will still need to be addressed. Addressing these issues will mean real progress.

“Finally, we call on our elected City Board of Directors and the Central Arkansas Technology Park Authority to make a commitment in writing that the Technology Park will not be built in any Little Rock residential area. Don’t tax us only to put us out of our homes.”

You can be sure the people who financed the tax increase do not want democratic representation, but a continuation of the blend of at-large city director seats that give the moneyed interests a hammerlock on city government.

Statement from Donna Massey, Johnnie Pugh and Gloria Smith on behalf of Arkansas Community Organizations

“Yesterday we saw a new sales tax pass in a city that is deeply divided. Those who will bear the greatest burden of this regressive tax for the most part voted against it. Those who are wealthier voted in large numbers for it. City Hall will soon collect $1 million in new revenue every week for the next ten years. Both sides in this election must now come together to hold our city officials accountable for every penny that is spent. City officials can no longer say that they do not have the money to fix our streets, put in new sidewalks or cut vacant lots. No more excuses.

“City Hall will get the money. But the progress part will remain to be seen. And it will only be seen if citizens are actively engaged in making sure that the money is put to good use. The budget deficit has been filled to overflowing with new money. We must now work to close the trust deficit.

“More money to do the “same old, same old” on a bigger scale is not progress. The issues of fair representation in city government, sustainable growth, development that creates living wage jobs for Little Rock residents and many others will still need to be addressed. Addressing these issues will mean real progress.

“Finally, we call on our elected City Board of Directors and the Central Arkansas Technology Park Authority to make a commitment in writing that the Technology Park will not be built in any Little Rock residential area. Don’t tax us only to put us out of our homes.”

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