NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Early voting kicked off in North Little Rock Tuesday for a 1 percent sales tax increase.
Mayor Joe Smith called for the special election, arguing the tax hike is the only option to get the city’s books back on track. The 1 percent proposal is split in two parts:
Half would be permanent revenue to help the city pay its bills. The other half would fund streets, drainage and city buildings. It will expire after five years.
Supporters of the tax are willing to help the city, while opponents want to force the city to prioritize.
“The city needs all the help they can get, so we don’t have to go in the red,” James Ard, who supports the tax, said. “It’s cheaper for everyone to help with this. We’ll make more money if we do the sales tax.”
“The city of North Little Rock does not budget correctly. They’re wasting millions of dollars on tourist pet projects, like the tugboat, the submarine and the trolley. And now, they’re trying to waste anywhere from $4 to $6 million on a plaza which is another tourist pet project,” Kenny Wallis, who opposes the tax, said.
If passed, North Little Rock’s sales tax rate would be at 9.5 percent — half a cent higher than Little Rock’s.