BENTON, Ark. — If Benton City Council members vote to extend the Advertising and Promotion tax on Monday, you will be paying more to dine in at Benton restaurants for the next 20 years.
The current 1.5% A&P tax was set to sunset next year once the Benton Event Center is paid off. Some city officials think by keeping the tax in place, Benton will be better off. However, others aren’t so sure.
The tax applies to all gross receipts or proceeds of hotels, motels, restaurants, cafes, and cafeterias in city limits.
“When they see the price and then they see the tax, they’re like ‘oh’,” said Jonathan Wind, owner of ‘Just Ice Cream” in Benton
Wind says his customers are already heavily taxed by the city and would prefer the A&P tax not be extended.
“It adds up a lot,” said Wind.
Wind says he feels the issue should not be voted on by council members, however, should be voted on by citizens in Benton.
“If they’re going to be paying it, they should get do decide if they want to pay for it for the next 20 years for the 2040 vision,” said Wind. “I understand the projects they want are great, but 20 years is a long time.”
However, others believe the A&P tax should be extended in Benton, so the city can continue growing.
“Instead of calling it a tax, I want to call it an investment because it is an investment for our future,” said Benton Mayor Tom Farmer.
Farmer says the tax would be used in the future for new developments that would ultimately bring revenue to the city.
“If we build soccer fields we could have 20 soccer tournaments a year that will benefit the city,” said Mayor Farmer.
The vote is set to take place Monday night. If it’s a split vote between council members, Mayor Farmer will be the tie-breaker.