Breaking down proposed half cent sales tax increase

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - "Public safety makes up 69 cents out of every unrestricted operating dollar that we have in the City of Jonesboro right now," said City of Jonesboro Operations Director, Gary Harpole.

It's a multi-million dollar chunk out of the city's budget.  City leaders are hopeful a proposed half cent sales tax increase will help.

Here is a current breakdown of the 8 cent sales tax in the City of Jonesboro.

6 cents of every dollar goes back to the state.

1 penny goes to Craighead County

1 penny goes to the City of Jonesboro.

"Half of that penny goes specifically to capital improvements, the other half is designated for operations and maintenance and that's the money we use to operate the City of Jonesboro on," said Harpole.

Let's break down how much money comes back into the city specifically when you make a purchase.

Here' the first scenario, let's say you spend the afternoon shopping in Jonesboro and you spend $100.00 on new school clothes.   Your total cost would be $108.00, but the City of Jonesboro only gets a dollar of that.   If this tax passes, the city would then get $1.50.

Scenario number two--let's say you go ahead and buy that big screen you've had your eye on.

The price--$1,500.00  Once tax is added in--the city will get $15.00.

If the tax passes--you'll pay $22.50.

Finally, that big ticket buy.  Let's say you find the car you've been looking for.  After taxes are added to  a price of $25,000.  The city would get $25.00.  If the tax passes, that jumps to $37.50.

There's something else to remember about those big ticket items.

"There is a cap.   No local tax is collected on any single purchase any higher than $2,500," said Harpole.

Here's something else to remember--anything that is delivered or licensed outside the City of Jonesboro, the place it goes gets the tax.  Jonesboro residents head to the polls for this special election on August 10th.

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