WEEKLY ADDRESS: Mayor Frank Scott Jr. explains details of the Lift Little Rock sales tax initiative

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (News release) — Mayor Frank Scott Jr. explains details of the Lift Little Rock sales tax initiative in his weekly address video.

“Hi. Last week at our State of the City address, I unveiled several new initiatives to Lift Little Rock to higher heights. If you didn’t attend and didn’t watch, I invite you to visit little rock.gov to watch the address. There is a link to the video on the homepage. If you would like to read it, you can do so by clicking Mayor’s Office under the City Hall tab. Scroll to the bottom of the page where you’ll find 2020 State of the City Address.

While 2019 was full of growth, it didn’t come without difficult decisions. Last spring, we right sized city government to align ongoing expenses with ongoing revenue. This was necessary for us to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars. Now that we have done all we can do to ensure our City is on stable financial footing, we need you to invest in a bold plan for our future. I’m asking for your help to LIFT LITTLE ROCK by voting for a penny sales tax that will raise approximately 50 million dollars a year for specific quality of life initiatives.

Little Rock has one of the lowest sales taxes among central Arkansas cities. By increasing ours, by only a penny, we’ll be able to reinvest in our parks, such as repurposing War Memorial and Hindman Parks as true destination venues to include open lawn entertainment, an indoor sports complex, soccer fields, and a senior center. We’d improve the Jim Dailey Fitness Center and Rebsamen tennis courts, and add a pool at West Central Community Center. The extra penny will enhance our Zoo and make it one of the top tourist attractions in the state, through the additions of giraffe, bear, red wolf and razorback hog exhibits. Here’s what else that penny will do: Allow us to acquiring adequate technology and other resources for our police and fire departments. These will decrease response times and strategically address crime. And the penny will improve our city’s infrastructure by focusing on and completing specific projects in areas of high need, like east of interstate 30 and south of interstate 630. This new decade empowers us with a new opportunity to think big, plan ahead, and LIFT LITTLE ROCK so our city can reach its full potential. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be providing more details on this sales tax initiative. And I look forward to hearing your feedback. Send me an email to mayorscott@littlerock.gov.

There is something that every single resident in Little Rock needs to do this spring. Be counted in the U.S. Census. The census is the baseline for determining millions of dollars in federal funding. So Little Rock, consider this your call to action: Respond to the 2020 Census beginning in March. You may respond to the census online, by phone, or by mail.

Lastly, February is one of my favorite months of the year. It’s Black History Month. An excellent treasure right here in our community is the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center. This museum is dedicated to preserving and celebrating black history. And each day this month the museum will celebrate a different Arkansan who has made history. One of them is William Grant Still, who moved with his family to Little Rock as an infant. He went on to become one of the most accomplished composers and musicians of the classical music world. Still was a trained multi-instrumentalist, but also taught himself to play many instruments, including clarinet, saxophone, oboe, double bass, cello and viola. And he developed more than 200 pieces of music in his career including eight operas and five symphonies. We’ll feature another notable black Arkansan next week on Little Rock This Week, because black history is American history.

In the meantime, stay up to date on what I’m doing by following me on Facebook and Twitter at Frank Scott, Jr. and on Instagram at FrankScottJRLR. I’ll see you next time on Little Rock This Week.”

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