Hardy votes to increase A&P Commission tax to 3%

Published: Mar. 1, 2023 at 6:10 PM CST
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HARDY, Ark. (KAIT) - Those who plan to visit Hardy will see a few extra cents added to their bill at certain businesses this summer.

After Monday, May 1, the current A&P Commission HMR tax will be raised to 3% from 1.875%.

The HMR tax is collected from hotels, motels, and restaurants.

Newly-elected Mayor Ethan Barnes explained the city council passed the tax increase due to the growth not only in the city but also in the county.

He said this was too good of an opportunity to pass up.

“The new funds we will be collecting will help in the aid of advertising and promoting the community, but it will also help us to create a position to where we have a director that puts in 40 hours a week in a full-time position to bring people to this area of Arkansas,” Barnes said.

The tax raise doesn’t come without a small amount of pushback.

Business owner Bob Gilliland said he feels the vote was rushed, and when customers ask about the slight increase in their bill, he will tell them it is not his fault.

“I am putting a poster on the side of my building,” he said. “When they did it the first time, I had a billboard on the side of my truck, and I’ll have one on the side of my truck, but I’ll also have one in here with their name saying that they voted this. Don’t blame me.”

Mayor Barnes said the city needed the tax increase, which is why the council addressed it.

“The city of Hardy has not touched that rate in 22 years since it was implemented in 2001. It’s a needed adjustment that prior mayors and prior councils have not considered,” he said.

In a presentation to the city council, Mayor Barnes explained a Quarter Pounder with Cheese Meal at McDonald’s in Hardy will cost $7.89 before taxes.

After taxes currently, it would add .88 to the total, but after May 1, it will add .96 to the meal.