Issue No. 3 on your ballot will allow the legislature to take on unlimited debt to give incentives to big businesses in order to try to attract jobs. Once Issue No. 3 passes the state can issue an unlimited amout of bonds and you won’t get to vote on whether to take on the debt. As a state taxpayer you will be responsible for the bonds and interest.
The goal of bringing jobs to Arkansas is admirable but there is no guarantee the investments will work out for Arkansas taxpayers.
Arkansas’ Constitution already allows the legislature to pledge hundreds of millions of dollars to attract big business ventures, commonly called “super projects,” but because of the risk of losing money from the projects and because of the possibility that large obligations could keep the state from addressing other needs without huge tax increases, the current Constitution limits the state’s investment in super projects bonds to no more than five percent (5%) of Arkansas’ General Revenues.
Instead of asking the people to raise the percentage of our budget that can be pledged, Issue No. 3 totally removes any limit. That is fiscally irresponsible.
Even if you trust the current Governor and legislature, do you trust future politicians five years, ten years, twenty years, or fifty years from now to not take on too much debt? Neither do we.
With nothing to limit spending, do you think politicians will be able to say “no” when lobbied to give corporate welfare to big business even if the venture is risky?
Don’t be fooled by the nice sounding popular name. — Issue No. 3. “An Amendment to the Arkansas Constitution Concerning Job Creation, Job Expansion, and Economic Development.”
Notice it only talks about jobs and economic development and says nothing about taking on more debt.
We think this is a better title:
Issue No. 3 = “R.O.B. Amendment” – “Risk Our Budget”.