Little Rock residents will vote on a potential one-cent sales tax increase on Tuesday, September 13.
A one-cent sales tax increase would generate an estimated $45 million annually for the city of Little Rock.
The special election calls for two separate votes on a permanent 5/8 cent "operations" tax increase and a 10-year temporary 3/8 cent "capital investment" tax increase.
The 5/8 cent tax would hire 52 new police office and 36 new firefighters, according to a web site launched by The Committee for Little Rock’s Future, a group formed to promote the tax package.
Additionally, the tax would create new Central Arkansas Transit routes and provide money for youth prevention and intervention programs.
The 3/8 cent capital investment tax would fund or partially fund:
- 2 new fire stations
- 2 new police sub-stations
- The replacement of an older public safety communications system
- Little Rock Port expansion
- A UAMS-UALR Technology Research Park aimed at developing and recruiting high-tech businesses
- New ball fields for youth sports
- Streets, sidewalks and drainage
A group opposed to the tax increases has also formed and launched a blog. The $500 Million Tax – Too Much! organization announced their formation last week with plans to oppose the 2 tax hikes.
The group contends that westward expansion in Little Rock should be financed by impact fees with reduced reliance on sales taxes.
The opponents of the tax increases also argue that the tax hikes are too large and that with regional benefits to some of the projects, there should be a broader tax base from nearby cities.