Funny money | Arkansas Blog

Funny money

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The legislature is going to put Speaker Robbie Wills' constitutional amendment on the ballot to reduce the minimum project size for issuing taxpayer-financed bonds to provide corporate welfare payments to lure industrial prospects. It's now $500 million.

Not a good idea, in my book. But this kept bugging me in the debate: Proponents cited a major industrial project lost to Arkansas in recent years. That project, as I recall, was easily big enough to qualify for help under the existing bond issue, about $800 million. It was a daisy chain of extortion of states until one finally ponied up enough money to land the foreign company's plant. This new amendment wouldn't have made any difference. Given the size of the tribute and other issues, I'm not sure Arkansas should be sorry about how that particular deal turned out.

 

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