Searcy City Council to Introduce A&P Tax 2.0

Remember that pesky A&P tax that the people of Searcy forcefully rejected in 2010? It’s back, albeit in a slightly different form.

While there have been some private rumblings for some time, Alderman Don Raney has now made it publicly known that he intends to propose yet another tax increase to the Searcy city council at the August meeting.

You can read the ordinance as well as a letter from Aldmeran Raney here.

In Raney’s letter, he identifies two concerns that were raised about the last A&P proposal: 1. The issue was not placed at a general election & 2. The funds were to be overseen by an unelected commission rather than elected public officials.

(Mr. Raney is partially correct. There were objections raised about the tax being placed at a special election, but I never heard anyone demand it be placed at the general election, but simply at a regular election–primary or general election. But I digress.)

I fear that Mr. Raney thinks these two compromises on the part of the city will ease the concerns of everyone who opposed the A&P tax the first time–and for some former opponents, that may be true. But the problems with an A&P tax are fundamental.

For instance, is it ethical for our city to slap tourists with an extra 3% when they come to our city? Should they bear the cost for our amenities? And is this sound tax policy? (by the way, that 3% would also apply to groups that rent rooms for meetings in town, perhaps including Kiwanis, Lions, church groups, etc.)

Shouldn’t an “A&P tax” go towards “advertising and promotion?”

Should we be raising taxes on food?

Doesn’t this tax disproportionality effect the poor?

Do parks improvements really take precedence over infrastructure and public safety?

What level of taxation can our city sustain? Can we really keep raising taxes every time someone wants a new project and expect real growth?

Our economy is still floundering–what impact would this tax have on consumers who are tightening their belts even more?

I think these are questions that deserve answers. I’m looking forward to having a conversation with you–Searcy voters, people of White County, and activists from around the state that have seen the disastrous effects of A&P taxes and big government in your cities.

I have little doubt the A&P proposal will have any difficulty making it through the city council, so the debate is imminent.

(To our dear Searcy leaders: Sorry, I know you thought this blog was defunct. And while it is true that I have been, and will continue to be, primarily occupied with my work at The Arkansas Project, I will be taking time to weigh in on this tax debate as much as possible. I may not be leading the charge this time, but I will make my voice heard and the people will be given the facts about this proposal.)



  1. Redman

    The City Council in Searcy are Liberals!!!
    They like to spend money! They do not want to
    reduce any part of city government !
    The swim team wants a brand new pool
    complex. But, they want the tax payers of Searcy to pay for it! The swim team does not want to have to do any work or put up any money to build a pool! They say the pool cost too much and they just want to tax the citizens
    of Searcy! If you will look at many of the improvements in the city parks, none were built with a tax increase !
    The group of people ( for example) that wanted the the new tennis courts went about getting grants, having funds raisers and getting people
    to donate money. You can look many other examples of this type of work effort that took place in Searcy’s parks history.
    Searcy has a great park system because of the people working together and making things happen! Not because of tax increases!
    But for the liberals, who are lazy tax increases are the only way!
    Brian Smith, said on the radio that a new pool would generate extra revenue for the city. If this is correct then why do we not see commercial built pools all over the state?
    Could someone show me any pool in the state that makes money?? Pools are not money makers!
    Also, since so many people, use the pool,
    why don’t White county build a pool for the county people to use? They have the money and would not need a tax! Then everyone in the county could use the pool!

  2. Donald L. Wheatley

    In reply to Arkansas Patriot. I wholeheartedly agree with you. Enough is enough. We are barely 6 months into the overpass tax and already our (leaders ?) are looking to tax us even more. AND, as I understand, there is no sunset clause in this tax, it’ a forever tax. Should raise 1.2 million dollars a year. There is only so much in how parks and swimming pools can be improved, so then what will the money go for? Having to hire more people at
    $60,000 – $75,000 per year, then of course there would be enough money for good raises and additional employees. Where does all this STOP? iT DOESN’T. Once any tax is started, NO LEGISLATOR, City, County, State, or Federal, ever wants to let it go. So, anyone interested in keeping your own money and use it for yourself, instead of letting government spend it for you for what they want, THEN YOU WILL VOTE “NO” ON ANY TAX INCREASE.

  3. Ron S

    NO, NO,NO
    I disagree with the Searcy tax a lots. I don’t care how they propose it, I will vote against any tax increases. Cut the mayors and J Shock’s salaries for starters and on down the line.

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  7. Phillip Pemberton

    I am more than a little disturbed by this new proposal. When Mayor Morris was running for election, he was asked about the A & P tax and if he would bring it before Searcy voters again. His reply: “The people of Searcy have spoken. I will not propose another A & P tax.” Hmmm, someone was prevaricating! Also, shouldn’t Mr. Raney know how to spell ‘Daily Citizen?’ Dailey? Really? NO NEW TAXES!

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