Cave City proposes first-ever city sales tax - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Cave City proposes first-ever city sales tax

CAVE CITY, AR (KAIT) – Cave City hopes to no longer be one of the only towns in Sharp County without a city sales tax.

The Cave City Council decided to hold a special election so that voters can choose whether or not to support a one percent sales tax to benefit the city.

If the sales tax is approved, city officials plan to use any new revenue to not only pay for additional law enforcement but to also fund a few other improvements in the works.

For years Police Chief Nathan Stephens says Cave City has wanted to hire a fourth officer so that the town could finally have patrols 24-7.

"With an additional officer, that's just staying a step ahead of the bad guys," he said. "It's always easier to stay a step ahead as it is to try to take a step and catch up."

The problem, however, is the expense. Hiring another officer would likely cost the city about an extra $60,000 a year. Chief Stephens says the city could afford to spend that only if voters approve the first sales tax in the town's history.

"I'm proud of Cave City for making it as long as they can [without a sales tax]," he said, "but it's just come to a time where we're going to have to have it to keep the city continue growing."

The city has proposed establishing a one percent sales tax. If it's approved, officials have estimated that it would generate around $130,000 annually. They, however, expect to collect more revenue than that based solely on the booming alcohol sales locally.

Chief Stephens says the city will split any revenue it collects in half. Part will go toward paying for a new police officer – an effort that longtime resident Melissa Morris supports.

"Because of the new wet county, I believe anything that's collected from that that goes to the city is a good thing," said Morris, who has yet to decide if she'll actually vote in favor of the new tax. "But at the same time we also need the officers to keep the streets a little bit safer."

The other half of the revenue will go toward different maintenance and repair projects for city agencies, like the fire department and street department.

"There's just a lot of ideas that's been kicked around that's really good ideas and would really look nice in our city," Chief Stephens said, "but we need some extra money to do that."

He says those ideas have included building a ‘pocket park' next to the city's renowned welcome sign. The local firefighters, he claims, also have several equipments needs that have currently gone unfunded. He says the revenue could also help cover the cost to repair a few roadways. That's apparently a good enough reason to vote for the tax, according to resident Audie Medley.

 "Out here on the streets, there's a couple of potholes here and there and it wouldn't hurt to have them fixed and benefit on that, too," he said, "so I'm all for it."

Chief Stephens says it's never easy to ask people to raise taxes, but he's confident that this one will pass.

"The city has tried to put off doing this as long as they possibly could," he said. "They hate to ask for any more burdens on the taxpayer, but it's just coming to a time where we're going to have to have that money to keep the city nice and neat and continue growth.

"I would like to think that the voters have enough confidence in the aldermen and the mayor and I to know that we wouldn't come to them and ask for this if it wasn't needed."

Voters can cast their ballots on the one percent sales tax proposal during an upcoming special election, which will be held on October 8.

Copyright 2013 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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

  • Boom in business for liquor stores during the holiday

    Boom in business for liquor stores during the holiday

    Wednesday, November 22 2017 11:29 PM EST2017-11-23 04:29:06 GMT
    Wednesday, November 22 2017 11:36 PM EST2017-11-23 04:36:51 GMT
    (Source: KAIT)(Source: KAIT)

    Many families are hitting the road for the Thanksgiving holiday and during their travels, some may make a stop at liquor stores.

    Many families are hitting the road for the Thanksgiving holiday and during their travels, some may make a stop at liquor stores.

  • Diaz court system to merge with Newport

    Diaz court system to merge with Newport

    Wednesday, November 22 2017 11:29 PM EST2017-11-23 04:29:07 GMT
    (Source: Pablo)(Source: Pablo)

    Anyone who has business with the Diaz District Court system will soon have to take care of that business in Newport.  

    Anyone who has business with the Diaz District Court system will soon have to take care of that business in Newport.  

  • Authorities see multi-layered approach in mental health

    Authorities see multi-layered approach in mental health

    Wednesday, November 22 2017 9:22 PM EST2017-11-23 02:22:45 GMT
    (Source: KARK)(Source: KARK)

    Pulaski County Sheriff Doc Holladay said this week that his department keeps track of nearly 1,200 inmates in the Pulaski County jail every day, with a little over five percent of them scheduled to be somewhere else.  

    Pulaski County Sheriff Doc Holladay said this week that his department keeps track of nearly 1,200 inmates in the Pulaski County jail every day, with a little over five percent of them scheduled to be somewhere else.  

Powered by Frankly