Education funding options?

(August 15, 2003) — (Springdale-AP) -- There are options besides raising the state sales tax to fund education improvements. That was the message yesterday from former state Senator John Riggs. Riggs is a board member of the State Chamber of Commerce and also served on the Blue Ribbon Commission on Public Education. He spoke to county officials yesterday in Springdale. Riggs says the Legislature should instead broaden the sales-tax base to include services that aren't taxed now. Those include everything from hairstyling to legal advice. He says that if the state taxed them all, it could raise close to 400 (m) million dollars annually. Adding a penny to the current sales tax base would raise about 375 (m) million dollars a year. Arkansas is working to meet a January deadline from the state Supreme Court to overhaul public schools.