Benton County Voters Want Say In $85 Ambulance Fee

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Some voters in Benton County are gathering signatures for a petition, saying they should have a say on an annual ambulance fee passed by county officials in September.

The Benton County Quorum Court voted 9 to 6 to pass an $85 annual fee to homes in unincorporated Benton County in order to pay for ambulance service. The fee would be added to the property taxes of those unincorporated households. Many of those people said they want the right to vote on the fee in an upcoming election, but officials said that could mess with the service.

“What we’re dealing with here is the possibility of that service being discontinued, and so it’s a very involved and difficult situation,” said Benton County Judge Bob Clinard. “I think it’ll work if they are successful in the petition drive, and we’ll decide from there how to fund it.”

It is unknown how many petition signatures have been gathered so far.

2 comments

  • Arkajun

    Seems to me that this tax is highly discriminatory. It discriminates against those who choose to live outside corporate boundaries, the elderly with limited income, they young who don’t often need the service, the property owner who has to foot the bill for the renter that lives next door, and most of all, the family that lives on the wrong side of the city limit sign.
    I moved to NWA from Louisiana..There we had a private ambulance service that sold $75 annual memberships in exchange for a 20% discount on ambulance service along with several other perks. This worked great because thousands of membership were sold and provided the capital the company needed. It is a good buy for those that need the service (elderly, ill) and is a good thing to have “just in case”. It is strictly voluntary but if you are not a member you pay full price for ambulance service (usually covered by insurance). And it doesn’t matter where you live or whether or not you own property.
    It appears that this ambulance company wants to double dip and get paid by the county and by the insurance company.

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