CRAWFORD COUTY, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – As voters in Crawford County head to the polls, they will decide the fate of a sales tax that funds first responders.
Many law enforcement officials across the county have said this sales tax is important to fund police, firefighters and even county roads.
The one percent sales tax is something Crawford County residents have been paying for more than 20 years and is now up for renewal for the next seven years.
The financing is distributed in all the cities of the department.
Van Buren Police Chief Jammie Hammond said the levy raised more than $4 million for the city last year.
He said the police department’s share of that money was ten percent of his budget.
Although he said the tax funds the county’s small town police departments even more, so it could hurt their programs.
Fortunately, if it is not renewed, big cities like van buren will not be affected as much.
“All is not gloomy. We are not going to close the doors. People are going to benefit from the great service they get from us, not just from our department, but from all of the county public safety departments,” Hammond said.
Hammond said the Van Buren department said that without the renewed tax, they will have to cut resources, like officer trainings and equipment.
Although, for those smaller departments in Crawford County, they may have to cut staff.
Hammond and other officers said it was really important to renew the 1% sales tax when you go to the polls.