Wednesday, November 18, 2015

WakeUp Arkansas: A Constitutional Amendment That Could Bankrupt the State & Local Governments

ALERT! Another Arkansas legislative amendment designed to fool you the public is headed your way in the 2016 Election. It's Popular Name assigned by the Arkansas legislature: “An Amendment to the Arkansas Constitution Concerning Job Creation, Job Expansion, and Economic Development.” 

Title Sounds Good -- What A Deception! If approved it could bankrupt Arkansas or Your City or County.

It was created via Senate Joint Resolution 16 is by Senator Jon Woods and Representative Lance Eads and it will be on the November 2016 ballot as a proposed constitutional amendment.

Section 2 of the proposed amendment authorizes local governments to give taxpayers money to private organizations and individuals for economic development projects and economic development services. The purpose of the section is to overturn a 2015 court decision declaring it unconstitutional for local governments to give taxpayer money to the Chamber of Commerce because of Article 12, Section 5 of the Arkansas Constitution which says:No county, city, town or other municipal corporation, shall become a stockholder in any company, association, or corporation; or obtain or appropriate money for, or loan its credit to, any corporation, association, institution or individual. (Emphasis added)While local Chamber of Commerce organizations do some good for their communities, small businesses and grass roots groups frequently find themselves fighting against tax increases supported by their Chamber of Commerce.

Setting aside the questionable ethics issue for the moment, SJR 16 is just bad legislation   -- but it gets worse:
  • First, as mentioned above, it allows local governments to give away taxpayer money to a private corporation, association, institution or individual.
  • Second, currently under Amendment 82 the state can pledge no more than 5% of its general revenues to support private large business projects called “super projects”. Under Section 8 of the proposed amendment there is NO LIMIT on how much state revenue may be pledged to private super projects. (Theoretically, the state could approve the use of 100% of its general revenues or even more than 100%.) Just one legislature could ruin the state budget and cause the need for tax increases for years to come. (See CFA article: SJR16 of 2015 How much state money is enough to assist big business with super projects?)
  • Third, the proposal is deceptive and designed to fool uninformed voters. The Popular Name of the proposal is, “An Amendment to the Arkansas Constitution Concerning Job Creation, Job Expansion, and Economic Development.” Who could be against a proposal with that deceptive name?
There are additional problems with SJR16 and CFA that need to be discuss in the future. But, you the taxpayers can’t afford to wait until the 2016 election to learn about SJR16. If we wait, we may find our tax money being siphoned off for Representative’s Eads employer and other private interests.

[This summary was Adapted from an article by Conduit for Commerce]

Tags: Arkansas, Constitutional Amendment, SJR16,   taking tax dollars, giving it away,  super project,  private businesses, organization,  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

1 comment:

Saniha Hakmi said...

Destroy these laws as well with the officials issuing them as well
end these states authorities.

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