Hottest Topics in 2007 $919 Million Surplus Repeal half of grocery tax Repeal income tax obligation for those under federal poverty line Partial repeal of sales tax on energy consumption for manufacturers Public School Funding/Facilities/Lake View case Economic Development: 5,000 jobs created since January
Current issues affecting Texarkana Tax Structure Streamlined Sales Tax Act Current economic development west of Richmond Infrastructure Magnet schools Merging of services
Future needs locally Short-term Economic Development: Just need that one announcement Retain existing industry Revitalization of downtown College Hill Loop 245 frontage TASD Long-term HB1826: Funding to the Red River Navigational Waterways Project North-South Interstate 49 Four-lane U.S. Hwy. to El Dorado THSRTC How to attract/pay for all this?
Top two priorities in Arkansas Economic Development $50M Quick action closing fund Tax relief for manufacturers Well situated for cellulosic gasoline (timber, switchgrass) 5,000 new jobs Job development at research universities Geographic location – central to large markets Reversing of trends – bringing jobs from overseas Windmill blades (Danish co.) Large pipe manufacturers (Indian co.) Aerospace industries (Dassault)
Top two priorities in Arkansas, Cont’d. Education Elevating quality of workforce (UNC, UVA) Fmr. Gov. Warner (Va.) approach 2010 Commission – UofA Pre-K Bottom line: Have to have an educated workforce to attract high paying positions The “lists”