Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Springdale's Budget Woes Made Worse

The City of Springdale spends taxpayers' money in strange ways, and the government has shown itself to be even more of an irresponsible spendthrift than liberal Fayetteville. Last night's City Council meeting will illustrate the point.

For June, Springdale's sales tax collections were down $125,571 from June of 2006. That's a plunge of 11.2%, yet this appears no cause for alarm or even a reconsideration of how the city spends tax dollars or what they actually get for their bucks.

Springdale has a small "hospitality" tax to fund its Advertising and Promotion Commission, but the Mayor and Council don't have much faith that it is doing its job to advertise the city and the private businesses there. After getting citizens to pass a $50 million sales tax to build a baseball stadium, even the usually rational Alderman Kathy Jaycox says the A&P Commission has no plan and now wants to hire a private marketing firm to promote the private business operating in that public facility.

The real kicker is that the City transfers public tax dollars to run the private Chamber of Commerce. The city pays the Chamber of Commerce $100,000 annually from its general fund to promote economic development, $60,000 from the advertising and promotion tax, and $17,000 from the Public Facilities Board. What are the hourly-wage working families in Springdale getting from the Chamber for their taxes? A $125,000 monthly deficit and a chance to hire a private marketing firm to do what they already pay the Chamber to do.

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