Some members of Paragould City Council and Mayor Agee are once again poised to add a new tax. Pay attention, this tax affects everyone who lives, works, or eats in Paragould. The plan would levy a 2 percent tax on the gross receipts of prepared food and a 4 percent tax on the gross receipts of alcoholic drinks, starting July 1, 2023.
The leader of this proposal, Jeremy Biggs, tells the people of Paragould, “the tax would be elective and would only be paid by people who eat out at restaurants or purchase prepared food at gas stations or convenience stores.” So. Everybody. This is not just a tax on tourists, it’s a tax on the working man who grabs a sandwich on his lunch break. It’s a tax on the working mom who picks up a meal for her children on days she doesn’t have time to cook. It’s a tax on small business owners, who are already having a hard time in a bad economy. And what does this extra revenue pay for? Roads? Sewers? Drainage? No. This tax is for recreational uses, for example, a 3 million dollar “pump track” that 99.9% of us won’t be using. (I had to Google that too, don’t feel bad.)
And why is the city in a hurry to do it NOW? They have to get it done because of Arkansas House Bill 1027. This bill, if passed, would prohibit city councils from levying this type of tax without a vote by the people. Paragould city officials KNOW that should this come to a vote, it would not pass. They KNOW that the people of Paragould do not want another tax, and so they have to ram it through while they still can, without your consent. Why should everyone who works for a living and wants to buy lunch have to pay an added tax? Call your city councilmen and Mayor Agee; tell them NO NEW TAXES.
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