Financial reports released ahead of sales tax vote

Sales Tax Vote

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - In the weeks leading up to a vote on whether to add a 1% sales tax for public safety and quality of life, the group behind the initiative spent a lot of money trying to sway voters.

Region 8 News obtained the pre-election report from both Team Jonesboro and its opposition group, Citizens Taxed Enough.

The records show Team Jonesboro spent more than $138,000 since it’s inception. During August, the group spent more than $77,000.

Here is a summary of Team Jonesboro’s report:

Team Jonesboro - Summary For Reporting Period (8/1/19 - 8/31/19) Total Since Beginning of Campaign
Balance at beginning of reporting period (8/1/19) $64,345.65 ---------
Money received during reporting period (8/1/19 - 8/31/19) $41,921.00 $167,266.00
Total Expenditures during reporting period (8/1/19 - 8/31/19) $77,654.58 $138,649.93
Balance at end of reporting period (8/31/19) $28,612.07

The records show around 130 people donated money to Team Jonesboro. Those donations vary from the high end of $2,000 down to $25.

The group also received around $16,000 in non-money donations. That included catering for events, lodging, and billboards.

Among the $77,654.58 expenses, Team Jonesboro spent $31,000 in advertising on radio, newspaper, social media and television - including commercials on KAIT.

Other expenses include $25,000 to Complete Campaign Services of Jonesboro for voter research, direct mail advertisements, management and database work, along with office supplies and other expenses.

All of Team Jonesboro’s listed expenses were paid to companies in Jonesboro, except for PCS Marketing Group. Team Jonesboro spent $1230.38 to the Ohio-based company for campaign signs.

Other expenses listed for Team Jonesboro included advertising production, event supplies, meeting rentals and various other campaign work.

Team Jonesboro’s opposition group - Citizens Taxed Enough - spent far less and had far less money donated to it.

The reports cover donations and expenditures from Aug. 16 to Sept. 3.

Citizens Taxed Enough - Summary For Reporting Period Total Since Beginning of Campaign
Balance at beginning of reporting period (8/1/19) $00.00 --------
Money received during 8/1/19 - 8/31/19 $5755.00 $5755.00
Total Expenditures during reporting period (8/1/19 - 8/31/19) $5652.69 $5652.69
Balance at end of reporting period (8/31/19) $102.31 -----
Money received from 9/1/19 - 9/3/19 $671 -----
Total Expenditures from 9/1/19 - 9/3/19 $00.00 ----
Balance as of 9/3/19 $773.31 ----

The vast majority of CTE’s donors listed themselves as retired. The donors donated between $50 to $1000 each.

CTE also spent far less money. The group spent $3,548.69 for mail-outs from PakMail in Jonesboro, $800 in radio ads from the Jonesboro Radio Group, $800 for billboards, and $500 for signs.

Both Citizens Taxed Enough and Team Jonesboro will need to submit a final report by October 10, one month after the sales tax vote.

Copyright 2019 KAIT. All rights reserved.