Leader Blues

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

EDITORIALS>>Where taxes go

As expected, the Jacksonville City Council last week approved a two-cent hamburger tax that starts this fall and will benefit the city’s parks and several of its attractions, such as the military museum and Reed’s Bridge Battlefield site. The council could have put the proposal before the voters but chose not to, but at least the discussion on how to allocate some $500,000 a year in taxes helped refocus the issue, resulting in a more sensible distribution of the funds.

The controversial allocation of hundreds of thousands of dollars in advertising in the Little Rock media will probably be scaled back, so Jacksonville residents will instead see more tangible results from the hamburger tax: Better parks and facilities.

The city could probably get huge chunks of free advertising from the Little Rock media as it has during the huge open house at Little Rock Air Force Base, when public-service ads air for several weeks before the event. Comcast Cable, which has had a lucrative franchise with the city for years, has donated airtime in the past, and if it were asked to promote Jacksonville’s attractions, surely the cable giant wouldn’t mind giving back a small share of its income in the form of free commercials.