According to "The Fine Art of Facility Future-Casting", in the 2023 Sports Planning Guide, facilities are "50% to 60% more expensive than pre-pandemic." Despite this, Jonesboro's public spenders uninstalled the "governor" from the throttled engine of good governance - support of the People.

Proof? The upcoming first anniversary of the 2% "Hamburger Tax" marks a "stick-in-the-eye" to the residents of Jonesboro by their elected officials. First, the city council failed to refer the vote to the residents in November 2021, marking the only time in years in which a new local tax was imposed without their vote.

A second failure by the city council was to double the twice voters defeated tax rate of one-cent by imposing two-cents. While the tax coffers overflow at twice the estimated revenue, the city council and the mayor have failed to reduce the tax - another poke-in-the-eye.

Third failure? The vote and the tax collection were enacted amidst the worst economy and inflation since the 1970s. Since March 2020, only the government (and big business) has grown. While the "Jonesboro Team" adds costs, working families, restauranteurs, other meal providers, and all taxpayers have borne the brunt of two city council votes that increased A&P Commission taxes from 3% to 6%.

City government has cannibalized revenue away from the "needs" for addressing natural city growth, such as roads, fire stations, etc., for the "want" of a $57,000,000 "Jonesboro Sports-Complex & Convention Center," an economic development albatross that "could be tax flow positive by the third year" (Wack, ESM)...say, by 2028?

Scorekeeping: city residents, 3 "Nays" to higher taxes since 2015; city guvment: 2 "Yeas", to increase A&P Commission taxes by 100%. We're now taxed twice as much to get approximately 50% or 40% less "facility" for the price today. Is City Water and Light on board for free utilities by 2025? Isn't this a city property the council is responsible for?

Still, elected officials casually expand the government closest to the People. Proof? At the recent working meeting for the 2023 budget, the staff called the Reserves funds, idling on the city's books for years at three times the amount recommended by the Arkansas Municipal League and a third more than the Government Office of Financial Management, as "conservative." More gaslighting, council? Mayor, still mum?

Howard L. Weinstock

Jonesboro