Franchise taxes: McKinney says city needs additional revenue

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

By Haley Schichtl

Mayor Tim McKinney told the Berryville City Council at its meeting Tuesday that it is time for the city to start collecting franchise taxes for the first time in 20 years.

Franchise taxes can be added to bills for electricity, gas, landline telephones and cable television.

McKinney showed the council a list of several surrounding cities, all of which collect a county sales tax and property tax, as well as a franchise tax except for Siloam Springs and Bentonville, which own their own electric utilities.

“For the last 20 years or so we haven’t been getting any franchise taxes or property taxes, and we get zero from the county sales tax, and y’all have done well, but if we’re going to continue our growth and invest in economic development and other things that are going to make the city grow, we’re just going to have to have more revenue,” McKinney said.

Berryville also collects the lowest rate of city sales tax among Carroll County’s three cities, despite being the largest.

“It’s probably something we should’ve done a couple years ago … but I’ve just been too stubborn,” McKinney said.

He said the council will discuss more details on the taxes at its next meeting, which is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3, at City Hall.

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