Justice is finally being served, but it is somewhat delayed. I refer to the contretemps going on between the Searcy City Council and the Searcy Friends of the Voters, which wants the citizens to have the right to vote on the “hamburger tax” imposed by the Mayor and a majority of the council members. The tax began in June, and collection of the tax is now suspended.
Now months later, with petition gathering and much legal maneuvering between the above parties, the tax will be voted upon by the voters of the city sometime in April. That’s the way it should be.
When are the citizens of Arkansas going to get to vote on the “hamburger tax” without having to jump through the petition process hoops that Mountain Home and Batesville did in 2004, and now Searcy in 2009?
Several years ago State Representative Johnny Key (District 1) introduced HB 1365 which would have required municipal governments desiring an advertising and promotion tax put it before the voters. The Baxter County Friends of the Taxpayers, was instrumental in the development of the bill. Thanks for looking out for us.
Unfortunately, Mr. Key’s bill never got out of committee which would have brought it to a vote before the House. The ever powerful tourism industry and Municipal League lobbied the House committee on revenue and taxation to kill this vital piece of legislation. The bill would have brought back sense and sensibility by allowing the citizens to vote on a local sales tax concern.
Remember this next time you for vote. Do those we elect really care about taxpayer’s right to vote on taxes?”Russ Skallerup Hot Springs, AR
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