|Updated: 6/26/2012 10:56 pm
||Published: 6/26/2012 8:02 pm
LITTLE ROCK, AR - Tuesday, Little Rock city leaders informally agreed to move forward with asking taxpayers to approve a property tax millage to raise $105-million to pay for street and drainage projects. Voters have approved the tax millage for capital improvement projects since 1958, but this year, the city wants to drop the rate to 3 mills from 3.3.
So what does that mean? If you own a $154,000 home, you'd pay about nine dollars less a year in taxes.
Next week, Little Rock City Directors will vote on whether to have a special election asking taxpayers to continue a bond for street and drainage projects at a reduced rate of 3 mills.
"That's about a six to nine dollar reduction depending on a $100,000, $150,000 house," says Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola.
City Director Brad Cazort entertained the idea of asking voters to also approve money for parks and the zoo, but realized he did not have the board's support.
"When we cut back the proposed sales tax from one and a quarter percent to one percent, the one area that took the biggest hit in the cuts to make it one percent was parks," said Cazort.
The proposal would generate $105-million over 15 years, adding to the money raised for street and drainage by the penny sales tax. Problem is- Stodola says sales tax revenue doesn't begin to scratch the surface.
"The total amount for streets and drainage and sidewalks is 72 million dollars out of an estimated need of a projected 700-million dollars. So it really scratches ten percent at best," says Stodola.
The city also committed $22-million from the sales tax to the controversial technology park. Neighbors who don't want to give up their homes, now know they have at least six months, because the city's now requiring a six month site evaluation. The Little Rock Technology Park Authority will decide where to build it, and whether that will include knocking down homes, a few months after voters decide on the bond issue discussed Tuesday.
Voters could always reject the city's proposal, but that's historically unlikely. They've approved this bond issue every time since 1958.
Right now, the proposed timeline from City Manager Bruce Moore puts the special election on September 11.