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Proposed tax repeal could go before voters

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TEXARKANA, Ark. -

A proposed tax repeal could soon go before voters in Texarkana, Arkansas.

City officials are working to verify signatures turned in with a petition to repeal a two percent tax on restaurant and fast food purchases.

The tax is commonly known as the "hamburger tax."

More than 1,400 signatures have been turned into the city clerk's office and just over a thousand need to be verified for the tax repeal issue to go before voters.

While supporters of the plan say the move would make businesses on the Arkansas-side more competitive and leave consumers with more money in their pockets.

Those who support the tax say the money has been used to promote the city and attract tourists.

"I can't even imagine if the A&P went away," said Claude Moore, Advertising and Promotion Commission Chairman.

The commission is responsible for dispersing the 2 percent tax which comes from local hotels and restaurants.

"It's free money that comes from tourists that pass through your state to help support economic development. If people really understood how it was being used and what it's used for. It actually doesn't make sense to take away something that enhances your city and town," explained Moore.

Over the last year, there's been some controversy over how much the Advertising and Promotion Commission has distributed the tax money to the new convention center and water park.

Mayor Wayne Smith was recently removed from the A&P Commission.

He says citizens have a right to petition the government.

"I think now it should go to the voters and we as elected officials need to honor whatever our citizens want," said Smith.

If the signatures are verified, the proposed tax repeal could go before voters in the November general election.

 

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