Tontitown voters to decide today on sales tax issue
Tontitown voters will decide today whether to increase the city sales tax to pay for a new water provider.
Voters can cast ballots on the proposed 0.75 percent sales tax increase from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 110 E. Henri de Tonti Blvd. Only voting machines are available on election day.
Early voting started July 5. As of Monday afternoon, seven ballots had been cast during the special election, according to the Washington County Circuit Clerk’s Office. The early voting has gone smoothly, said Jennifer Price, executive director for the Washington County Election Commission.
The sales tax is projected to bring in about $45,000 per month to pay for a $7.8 million water line connecting the city with the Benton-Washington Regional Public Water Authority, city officials have said. The tax would sunset after the bond is paid in about 30 years. If voters approve, the city’s overall sales tax would be 10.5 percent, up from 9.75 percent.
The city would stop using Springdale as its main water source and build a 7-mile line along the right of way of Henri de Tonti Boulevard toward Chamber Springs Road to connect to the authority. The authority provides water from Beaver Lake to 13 cities.
The five-year contract between Tontitown and Springdale stipulates a cap of 18 million gallons per month or 600,000 gallons per day.
Tontitown pays $3.28 per 1,000 gallons to Springdale as of Jan. 1, up from $3.07 per 1,000 gallons last year. The authority has a flat rate of $2.34 per 1,000 gallons.