Issue 2 Could Change Where Tax Dollars Go

A new poll shows Arkansas voters are undecided about Issue 2 on the November ballot. It is a proposal that would allow cities and counties to use sales taxes to finance bonds for development projects.

“It’s an economic development tool,” said Republican Senator Jake Files, of Fort Smith.

Files sponsored Issue 2. The proposal would allow cities and counties to create tax districts. Files believes the law would bring business and jobs.

“This would provide some infrastructure for retail and entities like that,” said Files. “You know a Bass Pro Shop, a big hotel.”

After the areas develop, sales tax from the districts would pay off loans.

“It’s not something where I anticipate anybody coming in levying taxes on anything,” said Files.

Files says the bill would not increase sales tax. It comes with restrictions. Opponents see it differently.

“That’s what it is. It’s taking it out of the hands of people to vote on a tax increase and put it in the small minority of board of directors or quorum court or whoever,” said Frank Glidewell, a tea party representative.

5NEWS spoke with the Republican Party of Arkansas and Arkansas Democrats Friday afternoon. Both parties chose not to take a position on Issue 2.

Glidewell believes the proposal would allow cities and counties to operate beyond their means.

“You can’t sell bonds unless you have a revenue stream coming in,” said Glidewell. “We need to have our money before we start spending it.”

TalkBusiness.net released a new poll numbers this week regarding Issue 2.

35% Yes

35% No

30% Don’t Know

Files is running for the state senate district 8 seat unopposed this election.

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