The Texarkana Chamber of Commerce’s “Day at the Capitol Trip” included Texarkana, Arkansas, Mayor Allen Brown among the participants. Brown said they’re interested in topics like education, health care and promoting industry.
“Texarkana is just in a regional hub that can be so beneficial with some additional state funding and things of that nature that we can use,” said Brown. “And so it’s important that we let these guys know in person how important that we are to the state of Arkansas. And, so, it’s important to be up here.”
As a regional hub, economic development was a hot topic at today’s event. And community members said they are seeking support for the completion of Interstate 49, which woudl help facilitate economic growth for the entire region.
“Economic development follows those main corridors, and so the more that we can get that established, and connected with other main thoroughfares, that just means growth and development, workforce opportunities, all those things that follow that main corridor,” said Mary Beth Rudel with the Ark-Tex Council of Governments.
Another hot-button issue for the Arkansas side, the city’s state tax exemption.
“That’s something that allows us to be more competitive with the Texas side, it encourages business, it encourages people to live on the Arkansas side,” said Steven Hollibush, Ward 3 Board Director. “I know several people that have moved their entire companies to Texarkana because of the tax incentives there, so we’d like to see more of that in the future, for sure.“
At today’s event, Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin said he saw no signs of the city being in danger of losing that tax exemption at this time.
The Texarkana Chamber of Commerce is also hosting a day at the Texas state Capitol in Austin later this month.