A second ballot committee has been formed to oppose the penny sales tax on the Little Rock special election ballot Sept. 14.

It has ties to the grassroots Arkansas Community Organizations and is distinct from an earlier opposition group whose leaders include City Director Lance Hines.

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The new group’s release:

The newly organized ballot committee, “VOTE NO SALES TAX SEPTEMBER
14”, has filed official registration papers with the Arkansas Ethics
Commission and has begun leafleting Little Rock neighborhoods urging
voters to reject the $530 million city sales tax proposed by City Hall. Little Rock voters will vote on the tax on Sept. 14 th .

“We are still in the middle of a pandemic. Our families are struggling
because they have lost jobs and work hours. Paying overdue rent and old debts are our first concern,” said Valencia White,Co-Chair of the “VOTE NO TAX” Committee. “We cannot afford paying more sales taxes per year on our groceries, clothes, water, electricity and gas.”

According to the Internal Revenue Service’s sales tax calculator a penny in
sales tax would cost a family of four making the median income for Little Rock ($51,485) approximately $189 per year.

VOTE NO TAX Committee Co-Chair Greg Moore said the City Hall
sales tax proposal was especially harsh to demand low and moderate income families sacrifice $189 every year for new city spending. “The tax is far too much of a blank check. I agree with expanding early childhood education and childcare, but work needs to be done to ensure that this important service reaches the people who need it the most.”

The proposed spending plan adopted by the Little Rock City Board of Directors allocates $30 million for “strategic infrastructure” with no details. A $37 million indoor sports center is proposed with no details. City Hall has not disclosed the seating capacity or where the sports center will be located.

“I might support a tax at a later time, but I would need assurances that the money raised would go to the real needs in my community,” said Little Rock Resident Gloria Smith, “for now I will be voting no sales tax on Sept. 14 th !”

The Committee’s website is — https://votenotaxsept14.com/
where more information is available including an option to donate to
the VOTE NO TAX campaign.

 

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The treasurer of the group is Neal Sealy of Arkansas Community Organizations.