UACES Facebook Fact Sheet Available For Upcoming Lonoke County Sales Tax Election
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Fact Sheet Available For Upcoming Lonoke County Sales Tax Election

by Kristin Higgins - May 12, 2021

Voters in Lonoke County will have a local ballot measure to decide when they vote in a June 8, 2021 special election.

The Public Policy Center at the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture partnered with the Lonoke County Extension Office to produce a fact sheet explaining the countywide ballot issue. 

Voters will decide:

  • A permanent 0.5% countywide sales and use tax dedicated to maintaining and operating the Lonoke County Sheriff's Department and county jail.

Download the fact sheet at: 

https://www.uaex.uada.edu/business-communities/voter-education/docs/LonokeCounty2021SalesTaxElectionFactSheet.pdf 

Lonoke County officials are asking for a 0.5% sales tax, which would generate an estimated $4.5 million a year.
When asked about their proposal, county officials said they would use the sales tax revenue to:

  1. Increase the total number of sheriff’s patrol deputies from 14 to 21 to meet patrol demand across all shifts
    and days. Two sheriff deputies would be hired each year for a total of seven, for an increase of $230,000
    a year.

  2.  Increase the number of jailers from 14 to 20 in order to meet staffing needs across all shifts and days. County officials said two new jailers would be hired each year until the jail is fully staffed, for an increase of $130,000 a year.

  3. Help pay competitive wages as a way to retain sheriff department employees.

  4. Help pay for more training for sheriff department deputies and jail staff.

  5. Provide classes and drug treatment for people in the county jail.

  6. Maintain and repair the county jail.

  7. Replace outdated radios, equipment and cars for sheriff’s deputies.

These plans are not specifically mentioned in the ballot title voters will see, but they would fall within the scope
of the wording used. The ballot title mentions funds for “operating, maintaining, constructing, equipping and
repairing County detention center facilities and operating and equipping the County Sheriff’s department.” County
officials said there were no plans to build or add on to the county jail with the funds.

People who live in Lonoke County and are registered to vote are eligible to vote in this election.

If approved, the countywide sales tax rate would increase from 1% to 1.5% in August 2021. 

Find More Information
The voter guide produced by the Public Policy Center includes more information about the Lonoke County ballot issue, including what supporters and opponents say, information about surrounding county sales taxes, and answers to voters’ frequently asked questions. Find similar fact sheets for statewide ballot issues at www.uaex.uada.edu/ballot

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