An Arkansas constitutional amendment authorizing bond-financed economic development districts failed last week with only 43% support. Issue 2 would have allowed development districts created by counties and cities to issue sales tax anticipated revenue bonds to finance projects. The bonds would be supported by the additional local sales tax revenues generated in the district. The proposal, which was sponsored in the General Assembly by Sen. Jake Files, R-Fort Smith, was modeled on a similar program in Kansas. After the election, Files said the proposal was probably too complex to be explained by the description on the ballot. The measure also would have given local governments the authority to issue revenue bonds to retire unfunded liabilities of public safety pension plans.
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