Our Voices Arkansas

The Voices of Grassroots Conservatives Across Arkansas

May 14, 2015

RITA: “No Taxes” But What About GIF Money?

My friends and I are concerned about a great many details surrounding the proposed RITA project, and we keep being told “there will be no taxes” for RITA.  It’s difficult for us to understand that logic, when RITA proponents in the same sentence also talk about using federal and state grants for funding.  Guess they...

by OurVoicesAR

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no-new-taxes-gifMy friends and I are concerned about a great many details surrounding the proposed RITA project, and we keep being told “there will be no taxes” for RITA.  It’s difficult for us to understand that logic, when RITA proponents in the same sentence also talk about using federal and state grants for funding.  Guess they forgot that federal and state grant money is generated via taxes…

MORE QUESTIONS AS YET UNANSWERED:
*  How about the other RITAs in Arkansas?  Where are they and what did they cost to build?  What has their economic impact been so far?
*  How many jobs has the Ft. Smith RITA created?  What industries have benefited the most?
*  If Helena’s RITA was a failure, what caused it to fail?  How much money did that failure cost?

Former JP John Pickett, a Democrat who’s also an emeritus professor of economics at UALR, estimates the startup operating costs for a RITA at about $300,000 annually, with that number going up by 3-4% yearly.  That doesn’t include local contributions (“local matching funds”) most grants require for implementation.  So, does anyone know yet who’s going to pay for that?

Meanwhile, interesting things pop up on a search engine when you’re looking up something else — like the below details about the Ft. Smith RITA (document has since been removed from their website):

The Arkansas State Legislative Session of 2009 authorized $325,000 to fund the start-up of RITA’s operation.  These funds are being utilized to engage a full-time project director and pay for office space and support provided by WAPDD.  These seed-monies are projected to be fully expended by August 2011.

RITA is pursuing additional operational funds from the 2011 Legislative Session.

The RITA Board has also requested $25,000 of operational funding from each of the four organizing local governments so that it can continue to meet its operational expenses for the remainder of 2011.

So we’re concerned not just about taxes now.  What about those GIF funds we keep talking about — that legislative “walking around” or “re-election” money?  Will the Legislature be asked to fund this RITA in Conway?

Does anyone know yet who’s going to pay?

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