A countywide sales tax on the books in Sebastian County since 1994 is overwhelmingly approved again Tuesday night (May 14). The final count shows the tax passed with 79 percent voting in favor of the tax.
The tax benefits all of Sebastian County, including the city of Fort Smith. The money raised is distributed within the county and its eleven cities based on their share of the county’s population.
The money raised from the tax goes to pay for services such as law enforcement, fire protection and the criminal justice system. Other programs that benefit from the Sebastian County penny tax include park programs, library programs and downtown improvements.
"I know a lot of times we don't want to give extra out of our pockets since things are so tight these days," explained Darneisha Airhart, a Sebastian County resident. "But I think we want to build up a safe and clean community and so I think it's necessary for us to just reach in our pockets a little bit more."
The penny tax was first approved by voters in 1994 and then passed again in 2004.
The tax will come up for another vote in 10 years.