BY LEANN DILBECK –
Voters passed a renewal of a 1-cent county-wide sales tax during a special election Tuesday, March 11. The collections are shared with each city and town within the county. A total of 907 votes were cast, 576 voting in support of the renewal and only 331 against (64% to 34%).
Each of the county’s mayors were very public with their endorsement of the tax as each municipality had seen the tremendous benefits of the funds for road/street improvements.
Polk County Judge Brandon Ellison expressed his gratitude to the voters,
“I am grateful for the citizens who took the time and consideration to vote to renew the 1-cent sales tax that funds county roads and municipalities. I am also appreciative of the voters who value the concept of a long-term view of the county road and bridge system. Knowing that we will have at least the minimum of current funding levels, will allow us to complete planned major projects and to continue with our 10-year plan. I believe a sales tax is the fairest way of taxation, when a tax is required. In particular, this tax is a renewal of an existing local tax imposed upon ourselves, to be used for our benefit, on basic public services.”
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, and therefore, the special election yesterday was necessary. Arkansas Code requires 90 days to pass after approval before collection of taxes can begin.
“Just like the expiring tax, this one also sunsets in 7 years. Everyone who spends money in Polk County will contribute something, including non-residents. I will work hard to make sure that the county’s portion of this money is spent effectively and as much as possible, is spent inside of Polk County,” said Ellison.