Tuesday, August 09, 2005
While economic development is a benefit to the entire community, there are a few things to be noted. The most significant negative on the one cent sales tax which will be levied in North Little Rock for two years is that it gives that city one of the highest sales tax rates in the nation. Mayor Hays makes a good argument about how some city services do cost less, but the tax raises the price of things people need and use. The tax places an unfair burden on shoppers in one town to pay for something that is a regional facility.
Then, there is the troublesome matter of the county jail. Nobody proposes a picturesque setting or a fine restaurant for the local lockup. We never think of the place where dangerous people wait for trials or the bus ride to prison. This local tax just about guarantees that even a small countywide sales tax for an essential government function is now out of the question.
The new stadium is a positive addition to the downtown scene and the senior citizens center, which also benefits from the tax, is a popular destination. North Little Rock has taken a bold step and this vote is a testimony of Mayor Hays’ political skills.