Surplus Uses to Get Another Look Now that Toyota Passes on Arkansas

MARCH 1, 2007 - Posted at 7:47 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Governor Beebe says half of the $200 million incentive package offered to Toyota Motor Corporation to put an assembly plant at Marion would have come from the state's $844 million budget surplus.

But that use of $100 million in surplus funds, along with a similar package offered to German steelmaker ThyssenKrupp for a major plant that was being considered for Osceola, wasn't mentioned in the governor's list of proposed capital projects to be funded by the surplus.

Beebe said yesterday that he outlined the plans to legislators in private conversations.  Beebe said Toyota does not want a public discussion of incentives.

Now that Toyota had decided to put its plant in Mississippi instead, and ThyssenKrupp decided it wanted to be closer to the Gulf of Mexico, Beebe and lawmakers can take another look at how the surplus is to be spent.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)