"This is a tax to protect and support ourselves," said Jonesboro City Council Member, John Street.
Two ordinances, one asking to levy a half cent sales tax--the other to put that issue before voters in a special election in August--were read for the first of three times by the Jonesboro City Council, Tuesday night.
"We can take a minimum amount of money and cover what we need to stay exactly where we are, or we're going to regress," said Street.
"This is something that we're desperately needing. It's not a matter of the city wasting the money, it's a matter of we need this to support our public safety," said Jonesboro City Council Member, Mikel Fears.
Though time was offered, no public comments were made at Tuesday night's meeting by anyone in the audience about the proposed tax. Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin says he's hopeful people will want to get talking.
"I just want the people to be really informed," said Perrin.
Perrin announced informational Q and A' s will begin with the city's administration next Monday, May 10th, and continue through June. The meetings will be about the proposed sales tax increase and will be open to the public. City leaders will be there to field their questions.
"I certainly want them to vote their convictions, but I also want the voters to make sure that they're totally informed with what we're doing," said Perrin.
What they're doing and why, are questions John Street says is information voters must have to make an informed decision. He says he's hopeful voters will participate in meetings that can help answer those lingering questions.
"When they weigh the decision to keep the level of service that we have, or to look at the alternative, I believe that they will support the city," said Street.