LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Little Rock City Board and Mayor of Little Rock are continuing the conversation about a potential one-percent sales tax for the city.
Now, they are opening up communication to the public through meetings they will be hosting this entire month.
At the board meeting Tuesday, the board of directors and the mayor announced the dates for the community to come out and get to know what the package includes and to have their voices heard.
Right now people in the City of Little Rock pay a rate of around 8.75% in taxes with the 1% increase, that would bring it up to 9.75%.
This 1% sales tax would extend over a period of 10 years, estimated to be around $600 million in total.
The mayor said the proposal focuses on parks and recreation, public safety, ports and economic development, and public works.
There have been mixed reactions from those on board about the timing of the sales tax and some of the construction of the tax proposal, as well as the public.
“Think again about a one-cent tax increase happening, the presented budget is a joke,” a citizen who attended the board meeting said.
“The taxes aren’t going to increase at this point because we haven’t taken it before the people, nor have we made the decision that it will go before the people. What we are doing right now is an exploratory process,” Mayor Frank Scott Jr. said.
“I think we are putting the cart before the horse,” Ward 5 City Director Lance Hines said “I have some issues structurally with how the tax is formed, it’s great that it’s sunsetted but I think it’s not wise to put operating costs in there in a sunset sales tax.”
A sunset sales tax means the tax will end after 10 years, or if the board of directors vote by a supermajority to extend the tax indefinitely or a certain time.
There will be seven public meetings to talk more about this proposal that will begin Aug. 14 and go through Aug. 30.