Eureka needs ancillary courthouse revenue
Our county clerk told me today that we had 2,770 weddings last year in Eureka Springs, which brought in $96,950 in revenue to the county.
In addition, the county judge told me today that the city pays $23,000 a year to the county for use of the parking lot around said courthouse. This totals $119,950. In addition, the circuit clerk and recorder collects a lot of fees for registering deeds, mortgages and other incidental services.
Now the anti-western district courthouse crowd is going to say that the fees from deeds and mortgages will continue to be received in the eastern district, and that they will continue to allow the rental and weddings to proceed in the western district courthouse, and that revenue will not be lost.
However, in addition to the above figures, which can be waved around somewhat, there is income to the Eureka Springs businesses, tax revenue, etc. to the City of Eureka Springs during chancery and circuit court proceedings amounting to tens of thousands of dollars per year. Although this cannot be quantified, it does result in a lot of witnesses, jurors, judges, lawyers, onlookers, etc. eating lunch, paying taxes to the city and CAPC, paying for parking meters, lodging, shopping, etc., etc., as the case may be. This is a much needed revenue stream for Eureka Springs.
We are a tourist town, and tourism is our only business, as we don't have any chicken plants or shoe factories, so taking dollars out of our town would be like rustling a farmer's cows. Also, tourism dollars are in short supply these days, and we need all the revenue we can get here. A dollar from a Holiday Island juror eating lunch is no different than a dollar from a Texan visiting Eureka Springs, as it all counts the same!
John F. Cross