Fort Smith Study Session Will Discuss Food Tax, Police And Fire Pensions

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FORT SMITH (KFSM) – A special meeting and study session will address a 0.5 percent prepared food tax among other issues to the city’s budget.

The tax would replace $770,000 that is drawn from the city’s general fund to help pay off the convention center.

“We could really use the help,” said Cpl. Matthew Holloway, president of the Fort Smith chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police. “We fully support the tax and we are hoping for public support.”

The money taken to fund the convention center could be used to help with raise pension plans for the city’s police and fire departments, according to Holloway.

In the agenda for Tuesday’s (June 23) meeting, the board recommends reducing various General Fund spending in addition to increasing and implementing other fees.

The agenda states “the resources to meet police and fire pension funding obligations have been declining since 2008. Without a solution, our pension contribution fund is estimated to exhaust all of its resources in 2021.”

Some proposed increases to offset the city’s debt include:

  • Increase the franchise fee on electric, telephone and gas from 4 percent to 4.25 percent, and on cable TV from 4 percent to 5 percent. This would create $554,000 in revenue.
  • A 0.125 sales tax increase, which would create $2.5 million in revenue.

The meeting called by the Fort Smith Board of Directors will be held at 6 p.m. in the River Park Events Building.

1 Comment

  • Niki Hooten

    Just talked to someone who was visiting from out of state who thought our sales tax was already crazy. So the answer for having one of the highest sales tax in the nation is to raise it more.

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