The Faulkner County Quorum Court’s decision to add a proposal on the ballot asking residents to reallocate a county sales and use tax that is currently split 50/50 between the sheriff’s office and the county road department led to the creation of Keep Faulkner County Moving Forward.
Keep Faulkner County Moving Forward is a bipartisan coalition of county officials, farmers, school administrators, mayors of all nine cities in Faulkner County as well as dozens of community, business and civic leaders.
“Keep Faulkner County Moving Forward is committed to opposing a reckless tax reallocation proposal, which takes away critical funding for the county’s priorities, on our Nov. 3 ballot,” the coalition said in a news release. “The Quorum Court’s decision to put tax reallocation on the ballot presents Faulkner County residents with one question: Should Faulkner County Vote No and Keep Faulkner County Moving Forward, so we continue attracting new jobs, continue supporting county growth, and continue supporting rural infrastructure. Or vote yes to cut millions in funding for our infrastructure needs and make us less prepared to handle disasters. The choice is clear: Faulkner County should vote no on tax reallocation.”
If approved, the tax would be split among the sheriff’s office, county road department, for 911 services with the rest going toward animal control/shelter.
Under the proposal the sheriff’s office would get 60 percent of the tax revenue, 35 percent would go to to the county road department and the remaining 5 percent would be divided evenly between 911 and the animal control/shelter.
Those in favor of the reallocation say the sheriff’s department needs more funding and also point to the lack of a county animal shelter.
The mayors of all cities within Faulkner County sent a letter to the quorum court before its meeting, urging against adding reallocation to the ballot. The Conway, Vilonia and Greenbrier city councils have passed resolutions opposing it. All nine mayors attended the meeting in which the quorum court passed adding it to the ballot. The mayors argued it will make it more difficult to receive funding from matching grants if the county has less revenue to use for infrastructure.
“Can you imagine another tornado the size of the one that recently hit our communities – especially Mayflower and Vilonia – and the county not having enough funding to help those hard-hit areas?” Mayor Randy Holland said. “Now is not the time to take our eye off the current or future needs of our county. We encourage everyone to vote no on tax reallocation because voting no will protect Faulkner County.”
Twig Satterfield, coalition member and owner of Satterfield Fuels, pleaded to leave the revenue split as it is.
“The way our sales and use taxes are distributed right now has led Faulkner County to be the second-fastest-growing county in the state, cut down on traffic congestion and helped rural areas get the infrastructure they need. Now is not the time to change what works,” Satterfield said. “Voting no will invest in new jobs for Faulkner County, like the 1200 jobs at DCX and the 130 jobs at Structurlam Steel made possible by our current allocation.”
For more information about Faulkner County Moving Forward, visit voteno faulkner.com.