The speaking continues | Arkansas Blog

The speaking continues

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The Little Rock sales tax debate continues:

* A speaker who said he supported the sales tax proposal and thought it generally fair objected to the disproportionate cuts in parks expenditures when the city reduced a 1.25-cent proposal to the pending 1-cent proposal. He urged greater spending on parks if more money comes in than expected.

* Michael Douglas, the director of UAMS BioVentures, said the existing program, in 8,000 square feet of existing space, had created jobs through new ventures over its first six or seven years — 418 employees in 19 companies who generated $21 milllion in wages, relatively well paid technical jobs.

* The dog-and-pony show by supporters of the chamber's economic development plan (the first of what will be on ongoing effort to shift their expenditures onto taxpayers completely in time) continually emphasized how it would contribute to regional development. Director Kenneth Richardson noted the "irony" of paying for regional development with a CITY sales tax. He remains focused on how much of these benefits really stay in the city paying for the handouts. Me, too.

At 7:30 p.m., after 2.5 hours of meeting, the board is taking a break. More to come.

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