A&P Commission discusses hamburger tax

Mayor Copenhaver wants more information before making a decision on the tax

Jonesboro Advertising and Promotions Commission discuss a hamburger tax

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - For the first time in over a decade, talks about a new tax are back that could add a few dollars to your bill if you eat out.

The Advertising and Promotions Commission brought up a prepared food tax better known as a hamburger tax.

The discussion started when the commission looked over projected expenses and revenue.

It was said that the tax would help them better serve the community.

Chairman Jerry Morgan explained that he has been speaking with the mayor’s office, and Jonesboro Mayor Harold Copenhaver wants more time to look everything over.

Mayor Copenhaver sent over a statement saying he wants a clear plan provided.

“As we’ve said all along, building the public trust is critical. I want a clear plan provided and to be able to explain to our residents how any funds would be use,” said Copenhaver.

I also spoke with a resident who says she does not think it is a good idea.

Iris Stevens, the Northeast Arkansas Tea Party coordinator, says this tax will affect everyone in Jonesboro, especially people with low incomes.

“If you are a moderate or low income individual and you have 3 or 4 kids and you take them to McDonald’s or whatever, yea that hamburger tax is going to affect you,” Stevens says.

This tax is not like a regular sales tax that needs voter approval. The prepared food tax does not need to be approved by voters.

During the meeting, Morgan said the city is looking into state and federal CARES Act dollars to see if those funds can be used first before imposing a new tax.

He added the tax is something the commission will explore more soon to fund their needs.

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