Second ballot spot for Arkansas legislative referrals taken by development district measure

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April 3, 2011


LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas: One more spot for legislative referrals remains on the November 6, 2012 ballot in the state of Arkansas, as the Arkansas Legislature sent the proposed retail project and development district amendment for public vote. The measure was approved for ballot access on April 1, 2011 after the Arkansas House of Representatives voted in favor of it, one day after it appeared to be rejected. The Arkansas Legislature can only refer up to three legislatively-referred constitutional amendments to the ballot each election year.[1]

Previously, the Arkansas State Senate approved of the amendment on March 29, 2011 with a vote of 30-5. A majority vote is required in both chambers of the Arkansas State Legislature to refer a measure to the ballot, according to Section 22, Article 19, Arkansas Constitution.[2]

The measure would authorize local areas, cities and counties, to create special economic districts and issue bonds for retail projects in the state. The measure was introduced by State Senator Jake C. Files. According to reports, the bonds would be paid off with local tax revenues that would be generated by the development. The measure was proposed during 2011 state legislative session.[2]

The other measure currently on the ballot in 2012 is the proposed sales tax increase amendment, which would implement a half-cent sales tax in the state. The revenue generated from the tax would be used to pay for a four-lane highway system statewide.[3]

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