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City Council approves prepared food tax ordinance

Published: Sep. 29, 2021 at 7:05 AM CDT|Updated: Nov. 2, 2021 at 9:45 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - After months of discussion, the Jonesboro City Council passed an ordinance for the 2 percent prepared food tax on Tuesday.

The Jonesboro Finance & Administration Council Committee introduced ORD-21:046 on Sept. 28.

The Jonesboro Advertising and Promotions Commission requested the tax because of interest to bring a sports complex to Jonesboro.

The tax will apply to any business that sells prepared food or drinks in the city through a 2 percent tax on gross revenues.

There were at least a dozen speakers at Tuesday’s meeting to speak for and against the prepared food tax.

The residents against the tax brought up people losing jobs and asked for specifics on what prepared food would be taxed.

A swim team and several parents from across the city spoke in favor of the tax regarding the money being used for a sports complex.

After several comments, it was voted on and passed.

“It was a long road. The Advertising and Promotions board has been working and trying to figure out the best way to get revenue so we can fund parks. Things that would really prove to be an economic impact,” said Tracy Owens, commissioner of the A&P Commission.

The next step is a feasibility study. This will cost the commission $50,000.

The study will show what sports should be added to the complex, the best location, and the cost of operations.

The prepared food tax will begin on Jan. 1, 2022.

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