Walnut Ridge voters to determine sales tax

WALNUT RIDGE, AR (KAIT) - A proposal for a one-cent sales tax is headed to voters in Walnut Ridge on May 22 and residents had the opportunity Thursday to learn more about the issue.

According to Mayor Charles Snapp, the tax, if approved by voters, will go toward paying for an upgrade of the town's sewer system. Snapp said the upgrade is required under state law but noted residents will make the decision on how to pay for it.

The meeting Thursday gave residents information about what would be taxed under the proposal, as well as ask questions.

Snapp said people have been asking questions about the issue and that there has been some confusion over the details.

"There's people asking questions and they should," Snapp said. "For instance, there is no sales tax on prescription medicine and this won't change that," Snapp said.

The city is officially neutral on the proposal, Snapp said, noting it is up to residents to determine the issue.

However, an area business owner said there has been growing opposition to the proposal including anti-sales tax signs being put up around town.

"It's more of a detriment to the business community and every business I've contacted in Walnut Ridge has indicated they're not for the tax," C.L. Clark said.

Clark said he also believes the additional one-cent sales tax will hurt local businesses.

If voters do not approve the tax, residents will pay for the upgrade with an increase on their water bill, city officials have said.

Early voting begins May 7.

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