BY LEANN DILBECK –
On March 11, 2014, voters of Polk County will have the opportunity to determine the fate of a 1-cent county wide sales tax that is shared with each city and town within the county. Each of the county’s mayors is endorsing the tax and asking for voter support.
The tax was originally passed by Polk County voters in 2007 and is set to expire June 30, 2014. The Quorum Court wanted to ensure that there was no lapse in collections, if it is once again passed by voters, and therefore, the special election in March was necessary. Arkansas Code requires 90 days to pass after approval before collection of taxes can begin.
Recently, the Mena Mayor George McKee, Hatfield Mayor Larry Stricklin, Cove Mayor JoAnn Headley, Grannis Mayor Dwight Billings, and Wickes Mayor Leon McCleskey met in Cove to discuss the numerous accomplishments each of their communities were able to achieve as a result of the 1-cent tax.
Each city and town in Polk County respectively gets a share of the existing sales tax based on their population. All mayors were in agreement that the renewal of this tax is essential to the well-being of their individual communities. In every instance, the mayors indicated they have used the “special” sales tax for road improvements. These achievements would not have been possible for any of the cities without the sales tax revenue. Mayor Headley from Cove said “Our city really needs for this tax to be renewed– it makes life better for our community.”
Vandervoort Mayor Terisia Hartley, was unable to attend the meeting but did offer her endorsement and support of the tax, “I support the renewal of the tax – it is really important to our town.” And Mayor McKee of Mena commented, “We have made many accomplishments in Mena using the current tax over the last seven years and it is vital to our street program to keep the tax in place.”
All Polk County mayors are endorsing the renewal of a 1-cent county-wide sales tax to be used for road improvements in the county as well as in the cities. They collectively stated, “We want to encourage voters to go to the polls on March 11, 2014 and vote FOR the renewal of this tax.”