Lake City City Council asks for one cent sales tax increase

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

LAKE CITY, AR (KAIT) - After several town hall meetings for community discussion, Lake City's City Council gave the go ahead on an ordinance that would put a proposed one cent sales tax vote before voters in November. The mayor says money generated would mean improvements that are much needed and in some cases long overdue.

"I hated the sound of a sales tax when I first heard about it," said Lake City resident, Jimmie Turner.

Turner has seen his town and the needs grow over the last few years.

"I said if there's money in the budget, then make do with it.  In order and for the growth potential, you can't just make do," said Turner.

Turner now says he supports the city's efforts to not only make do, but improve.

"The money cannot be spent on anything other than street repairs or water and sewer upkeep," said Lake City Mayor, Billy Anderson.

Improvements the city hopes to pay for with a proposed one cent sales tax increase going  before voters in November.  Lake City Mayor Billy Anderson expects the proposed increase to generate at least one hundred thousand dollars.  Half of that is dedicated to improving battered and patched up city streets.

The ice storm, we really saw it during that time, but our streets had really been neglected for several years because we didn't get enough revenue in to keep them updated," said Anderson.

Anderson says the city annexed about 2 miles of land in 2006.  He says it's land that needs water and sewer services.

"As our town grows, in which it is growing, there's going to be more need for water and sewer to maintain the growth of our city," said Anderson.

With new subdivisions popping up and a growing population, Anderson says he doesn't want the town going backward.  He says he's hoping a sales tax increase will help the city address problems and continue moving forward.

"It's not for my purpose, it's for the city's good," said Anderson.

For resident Jimmie Turner, he  says the cost to improve the city's needs are worth it to him.

"You have to make your city available to people and make it look nice," said Turner.

The mayor says if the tax doesn't pass, they will continue to patch roads, but the conditions will deteriorate.  Additionally, without the tax, water and sewer rates could rise.  They did apply for grants that would help with water and sewer issues, but weren't awarded any.  Anderson says if it does pass, collection could start around early to mid 20-11.  The mayor said this would be a permanent tax.

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