LITTLE ROCK – Members of the Little Rock Citizens Evaluation of the New Tax Committee (LRCENT) gathered for the final meeting of 2013 Wednesday at the Willie Hinton Neighborhood Resource Center. City Department Directors, City Manager Bruce Moore, Mayor Mark Stodola and Assistant City Manager Bryan Day spoke to the Committee about to date sales tax collections and the many expenditures to date of the sales tax revenues.
The LRCENT Committee was formed to provide transparent oversight of the 5/8-cent operating sales tax and the 3/8-cent capital sales tax to ensure that 100 percent of the sales tax revenues are used in accordance with the City’s Sales Tax Resolution adopted on July 11, 2011.
As of September 2013, just over $80,690,000 dollars in new sales tax revenue has been collected and $36,319,000 has been spent on completing capital projects.
For a complete listing of completed and in-progress sales tax-funded capital projects by department, please visit the Documents section of www.lrcent.org and scroll the bottom of the page for the December 18, 2013 Presentation.
“We are committed to providing oversight and transparency of the new revenue generated by the new sales tax,” said Gary Smith, Co-Chair of the LRCENT Committee. “This new funding was essential for the City of Little Rock, and we’ve found that this revenue is being used appropriately, and residents should feel confident in that.”
Smith, who is resigning from the commission at the end of the year, reminded the Committee that funds for all capital projects included in the resolution are being pro-rated and put in a bank account as they are collected. This will ensure that all capital projects will receive the funding necessary for completion.
City Manager Bruce Moore and Mayor Mark Stodola made note that capital projects are part of a ten year plan. Public safety projects are being prioritized and individual projects are scheduled to be completed throughout the entire ten year period, not all at once.
“Little Rock residents overwhelmingly approved this new sales tax and the plan outlined by the City Board,” said LRCENT Committee Co-Chair Dr. Sybil Jordan Hampton. “The Committee continues to monitor the use of these funds for approved public safety additions; road, street and drainage improvements; and quality of life enhancements.”
Dr. Hampton commended City employees for their hard work day in and day out to ensure that Little Rock is a City that works for all of its citizens.