The Arkansas Tea Party made its opposition to the tax known in a news release which stated that the City of North Little Rock will satisfy financial obligations on the debt of its Arkansas River hydroelectric dam in 2014.
The party says while this will bring more than $14 million to the city coffers, the mayor and city council are seeking two sales tax increases that, if enacted, would produce millions of dollars more.
"While the mayor has discussed vague proposals for the spending of new sales tax revenue, he hasn't in any way reported the enormous windfall of revenue the city is about to experience, which could take care of our police and fire needs and even pour money on some of Pat Hays' pet projects. Right now, the mayor is essentially engaged in revenue deception.
The Arkansas Tea Party says North Little Rock spends way too much money on things that aren't wanted or necessary. It says the Executive Director of the Arkansas Maritime Inland Museum, a pet project of the mayor's, pulls about $70,000 a year from the museum's annual budget - funded by the city - of about $200,000. Further, the party says, the city pays about $42,000 for a Fit 2 Live/WHEN Director and over $64,000 for a Sustainability Manager every year. The party says "What good does any of that do the citizens here?" The party says that by just eliminating fat, North Little Rock could take care of so very many needs - and never raise taxes.
"City government is way out of touch with NLR citizenry. Hays personally makes about three times the typical income of a NLR household. Maybe $220 a year in additional sales taxes wouldn't mean much to his budget, but it means a lot to others who live here," the party said further in the news release.
The city is voting on the sales tax increase in a special election tomorrow. The polls are open from 7:30AM to 7:30PM.