Region 8 Road Trip: Tax helps boost Jackson County economy - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Region 8 Road Trip: Tax helps boost Jackson County economy

NEWPORT, AR (KAIT) – A county rocked by two decades of poor economics is now running strong, all thanks to a town and a half-a penny.  A half-cent Economic Development Tax was passed by Newport residents in 2002 helping spur growth and just a few weeks ago they extend that tax for another decade.

When Newport lost almost 900 jobs in the early 90's something had to be done.

"The tax has helped us do a lot of things.  One thing it has helped to do is create jobs.  We've created almost 900 jobs in the last ten years," said Newport Economic Development Commission Executive Director Jon Chadwell.

Chadwell said those jobs make up about ten percent of the workforce in Newport.

"It let us replace the jobs that we lost in the 90's.  We are back basically to even to where we were in the 90's.  Now we can start going forward," said Chadwell.

Jackson county's job base is very diverse from manufacturing jobs, both large and small, to jobs at the college, the department of corrections, and in healthcare.  The half-cent sales tax has helped with job training, landing small business grants, and making the town more appealing to businesses.

"We've done a lot of infrastructure things.  We helped with the waste water treatment plant, with new roads with rail spurs and things that make us more attractive to businesses," said Chadwell.

Just 16 days ago Newport renewed the tax with 76% of the vote.

"The vote of confidence that the public gave also lets people at the state level and businesses that are looking know that our community is united and is serious about development," said Chadwell.  "We know that they're entrusting us with funds to do a job."

Agriculture makes up about 30% of the jobs in Jackson County.  Flooding is still affecting farmers who had to plant later or re-plant their crops.

Copyright 2011 KAIT. All rights reserved.

  • Region 8 News</span><a class="customMoreLink" href="/Global/category.asp?C=4391" target="_top">More >></a>Region 8 NewsMore>>

  • Names and new details released in Jackson County homicide

    Names and new details released in Jackson County homicide

    Saturday, November 18 2017 11:58 PM EST2017-11-19 04:58:03 GMT
    Sunday, November 19 2017 8:36 PM EST2017-11-20 01:36:23 GMT
    (Source: KAIT)(Source: KAIT)

    According to Jackson County Sheriff's Captain Ricky Morales, 40-year-old Rickey D. Crawford Jr., of Tuckerman, was arrested in relation to the death of 33-year-old Amanda Michelle Crawford.

    According to Jackson County Sheriff's Captain Ricky Morales, 40-year-old Rickey D. Crawford Jr., of Tuckerman, was arrested in relation to the death of 33-year-old Amanda Michelle Crawford.

  • Jonesboro police investigate shooting in downtown Jonesboro

    Jonesboro police investigate shooting in downtown Jonesboro

    Sunday, November 19 2017 1:24 PM EST2017-11-19 18:24:57 GMT
    (Source: KAIT)(Source: KAIT)

    The Jonesboro Police Department is investigating a shooting that happened Sunday morning in downtown Jonesboro.

    The Jonesboro Police Department is investigating a shooting that happened Sunday morning in downtown Jonesboro.

  • Arkansas hospitals: Shortage of IV equipment due to storm

    Arkansas hospitals: Shortage of IV equipment due to storm

    Sunday, November 19 2017 1:04 PM EST2017-11-19 18:04:26 GMT
    (Source: Raycom Media)(Source: Raycom Media)

    Arkansas hospitals say a national shortage of IVs is the worst they've ever seen since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico in September and knocked out a key plant that manufactures the medical equipment

    Arkansas hospitals say a national shortage of IVs is the worst they've ever seen since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico in September and knocked out a key plant that manufactures the medical equipment

Powered by Frankly