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News Blog for social, fiscal & national security conservatives who believe in God, family & the USA. Upholding the rights granted by God & guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, traditional family values, "republican" principles / ideals, transparent & limited "smaller" government, free markets, lower taxes, due process of law, liberty & individual freedom. Content approval rests with the ARRA News Service Editor. Opinions are those of the authors. While varied positions are reported, beliefs & principles remain fixed. No revenue is generated for or by this "Blog" - no paid ads - no payments for articles. Fair Use Doctrine is posted & used.
Blogger/Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
Contact: editor@arranewsservice.com (Pub. Since July, 2006)
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Keeping Arkansas’ Economy Strong: Why Should We Care?

by Rep. Aaron Burkes, Arkansas Republican Caucus: Arkansas continues to maintain a strong and thriving economy during a time when many states are struggling with budgetary deficits and faltering economies. So why then should Arkansans be concerned about a tax increase when our state is fiscally strong and enjoying a time of economic growth? It is human nature to become complacent in times of excess but in reality that is exactly the time we as involved citizens should become informed and proactive; ensuring continuance of the infrastructure that is providing sound support for our vital economy. This is the time for us as concerned citizens to make critical decisions impacting the future of Arkansas’ economy for years to come. Sound decisions sending the right message to those impacted most!

What are these critical decisions? Arkansas’ economy is strong in large part due to the energy industry. According to a study conducted by the Center for Business and Economic Research in the Sam W. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville Shale is estimated to create almost 10,000 full-time jobs and generate $357.7 million in state and local tax revenues. Additionally, the study estimates direct expenditures of $3.8 billion from land and mineral leasing rights, drilling and other related activities during 2005-2008. Fayetteville Shale’s investment in our state presents an “economic jackpot” of new jobs for Arkansans. Their investment is equivalent to the economic impact of three to four automobile plants in our state.

Why then would Arkansans want to support raising a tax that would discourage economic investment in our state? Why would Arkansans not want to keep Arkansas strong? A vote to raise the severance tax is a vote that sends the wrong message! Raising the severance tax is a vote for higher energy bills. Energy companies will simply counterbalance their additional deficit, created by the increased tax, by passing along their costs to working families already struggling with through-the-roof fuel bills and increasing food costs. Therefore, a vote to raise the severance tax is a vote to decrease expendable income for working families; working families already living paycheck to paycheck.

Raising the severance tax would make any industry interested in Arkansas think twice about making a commitment requiring large investments of time and money in our state if only to increase taxes on them once they’re established. Why should we as Arkansans give incentives to a windmill plant that is projected to produce nominal amounts in future investments compared to an established industry that is already producing billons in investments today?

Why should Arkansans care? Less industry investments means fewer jobs and lower productivity for our state. If Fayetteville Shale is taxed today then who will be taxed tomorrow? Farmers and agriculture? Small businesses? The trucking industry? Or perhaps homeowners? Another income tax surcharge may be just around the corner.

Arkansas’ current strong economy and fiscal surplus were created by the citizens of our state through hard work and ingenuity. Aren’t we as Arkansans already working hard enough to make Arkansas strong? Why then should our government ask us for more? The first issue of Talk Business quarterly featured a survey of 608 registered Arkansas voters polled by Global Strategy Group of Arkansas. This survey reported 66% of the people in our state believed state leaders could be doing more to encourage new jobs and businesses in their area.

Why aren’t we as state leaders listening to the people of our state? We, as state leaders, should be supporting the businesses and entrepreneurs who are creating new jobs in our state and requiring far more from our government in helping to keep our economy and state strong. As state leaders, we need to be providing leadership that is concerned and informed; making decisions for the good of all Arkansans.

Tags: Arkansas Republican Caucus, increased taxes, natural gas, severance tax, taxes To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 12:39 PM - Post Link

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