Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Little Rock's budget shortfall is about more than Internet

Posted By on Wed, Nov 16, 2016 at 7:42 AM

WHO NEEDS LITTLE ROCK? Suburban cities have shopping outlets to match.
  • WHO NEEDS LITTLE ROCK? Suburban cities have shopping outlets to match.

The $3 million Little Rock city budget gap
that I reported recently, came up at the City Board meeting last night.

As anticipated, reserve money and leaving jobs unfilled will cover the gap, reported Chelsea Boozer for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Since sales taxes have lagged, some prudently wondered whether next year's budget was conservative enough. (We must make sure that Tech Park is fully funded.)

City Director Dean Kumpuris brought up the impact of Internet sales on city tax revenue. Mayor Mark Stodola is among many city officials who want a legislative solution to the loss of sales tax revenues to web business.

It's a legitimate concern. But it is not the only concern.

City directors might take a drive to Bryant, Cabot or Conway — to name a few  — and gaze on the expanding shopping centers with nameplates that duplicate those in Little Rock. Commerce has also migrated there, as well as to the web.  Our commuters can now shop near home.

All the more reason to pave over downtown Little Rock so the people can get there faster.

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