PEA RIDGE (KFSM)-- Pea Ridge City Council members voted to approve a resolution showing their support for the state's work to create an Internet Sales Tax during their meeting on Tuesday night (June 20).
Mayor Jackie Crabtree said the city has been losing sales tax revenue from online sales for a while now.
He explained that business owners have told him that people will come in, look around and then purchase the same items from online stores.
“What they don’t realize is those sales taxes are what support the city," Crabtree said. "That’s what pays our fire, what pays our police what helps us pay to keep our streets updated and repaired."
This is not a problem unique to Pea Ridge.
Cities all over Arkansas are seeing the exact same thing.
The Arkansas Municipal League recently announced that one of their top priorities would be to help the governor and Arkansas legislature find a solution to this problem.
Brandy Ryals, another Pea Ridge business owner, agreed with Crabtree, saying something needs to be done about the issue.
Her business, Brandy's Boutique and Salon, has been open for business for two years.
During that time, she said she has seen the effects Internet sales can have on local business.
“I do see a lot of people pulling out the tags, looking at it," Ryals said. "Some people even go to lengths of asking me where I order from. So I know that they are wanting to check to see if they can do it cheaper.”
Ryals said Pea Ridge is her home and works hard to provide the people who live there quality items at prices that are reasonable for the area.
Crabtree explained that if something were to pass, an online customer would pay the sales tax for their area on an item.
He said this is something that has been an issue for a while, and he is hoping the state finds a solution soon.