Jamie Stell laid out the numbers on Monday night at the Maumelle City Council meeting.
Stell, a former alderman and de facto spokesman for an ad hoc committee that studied the possibility of an advertising and promotion tax for the city, said the funds raised outweighed any potential negatives.
“Cost to Maumelle residents is negligible,” Stell said reading from a report presented to the Council. “Three percent would only add 30 cents extra on a $10 food bill and remember non-residents eating in Maumelle would bring in taxes as Maumelle residents do every day when we eat in North Little Rock and Little Rock.
Both of those cities have A&P taxes. Stell said Karen Trevino, an instructor at Pulaski Tech and administrative manager for North Little Rock’s A&P commission, was one of the people that the committee consulted while generating the report. Trevino also lives in Maumelle.
Stell also said the A&P tax would “provide specific revenue for promoting Maumelle” and things like arts centers and nature trails would be among those entities that could receive A&P money.
Mayor Mike Watson noted that the committee formed on its own, and its report wasn’t a conclusion but for informational purposes only.
“The A&P tax is not the only option,” Stell said. “In fact, it may not be the best option, or a good option at all, but it is one that should be considered.”
Stell said Trevino recommended approaching the Heart of Arkansas Travel Association to see if a grant could be obtained to study “possible benefits of an A&P tax.”
Watson and the Council took the report in stride and said that the matter required a longer look.
In unfinished business: The Council took two street ordinances on to third reading. Both are related to accepting streets in real estate developments. Both will be voted on at the next Council meeting, after the third and final reading.
In new business: The Council meeting adjourned and the Council reformed as the Board of Sign Appeals to hear an appeal for a monument sign for the Leisure Arts facility. The board voted 7-1 to approve the sign, with Steve Mosley voting no.
That Board then adjourned, and the Council went on to hear a request, that was approved unanimously, for a Maumelle Soccer Club sponsorship banner.
Watson’s appointments of Fire Chief George Glenn and Roy Andrews as the city’s liaisons to Maumelle Water Management were also approved unanimously. Watson said one term would be for two years, and the other for four. Those numbers would be drawn from a hat, Watson said, to determine who would serve how long.
Glenn has served as a liaison since 2007, while Andrews was appointed earlier this year. Watson said a blind draw was the only fair way to determine how long each served.
Two ordinances related to street acceptance were also heard on first reading and a suspension of rules was approved to take both to third reading for approval that night. City Attorney JaNan Davis said Phase 3 of Phase 21 Country Club of Arkansas was being split into Phase 3A and 3B, and if the ordinances weren’t approved, property buyers wouldn’t be able to take clear title to the property.
Both were approved on 7-1 votes with Mosley again voting no. The first ordinance was passed with an emergency clause, meaning that ordinance wouldn’t go into immediate effect. That clause passed 6-2 with Mosley and Alderman Caleb Norris both voting no.
An emergency clause on the second ordinance tied 4-4 and as an ex officio member of the Council, Watson could have broken the tie, but for an emergency clause to pass, it has to be approved by a super majority or at least six yes votes.
So Watson declined to vote.
The Council also approved the purchase of a new pickup truck for the Public Works Department and a change to the general fund budget that would accept a grant for the construction of a wetland trail.
The Council meets again on Tuesday, Sept. 3 because of the Labor Day holiday falling on the first Monday.