County And Cities Benefit From Sales Tax Dollars
The first returns from the one percent countywide sales tax have been received by the county's various municipalities. The funds, which represent tax returns from funds spent within the county during May, 2014, have been dispersed to Clay County for its County General Fund, the main operating budget, as well as each city within the county based upon population, as per the design of the tax. Residents approved the one percent tax during a special ballot on Oct. 8, 2013, following a proposal made by the Clay County Quorum Court.
The breakdown of funds received through the first installment is as follows: Clay County, $34,744.10; Piggott, $25,361.28; Rector, $13,028.57; Corning, $22,251.24; Greenway, $1,377.11; St. Francis, $1,647.28; Pollard, $1,462.77; Nimmons, $454.64; Datto, $658.91; Knobel, $1,891.06; McDougal, $1,225.56; Peach Orchard, $889.52 and Success, $981.78.
The tax was proposed in order to alleviate some of the financial strain upon the County General fund, through which the bulk of the county's offices and programs are funded. Clay County was one of just five Arkansas counties which did not have a sales tax dedicated to County General prior to the passage of the tax.
"This tax will help the county, but it will also help each town in Clay County," Clay County Judge Gary Howell said. "The way it's set up, everyone will get a piece and be able to use it as needed. It's something we've needed in the county for some time, but it'll also help the cities a great deal."
Officials in Rector, which received $13,026.57 in its first monthly return, noted the potential impact the additional funding may have in its July 7 City Council meeting.
"That (funding) will help small communities tremendously," Rector Alderman Cam Cate said.
With the tax in place, Clay County and each city within the county will receive funds generated from the tax each month. The funds are calculated by the state treasurer's office, and from there are dispersed to the appropriate county and city offices.
"With these small towns, they can let that money add up over time and use it to make a bigger purchase, like equipment or street work, that they might not be able to do as easy otherwise," Howell said. "All in all, this is something that I think will help everyone in the county."