The results of Tuesday’s special election show that Little Rock voters have rejected Mayor Frank Scott, Jr.’s “Rebuild the Rock” sales tax initiative. Early voting for the “Rebuild the Rock” sales tax initiative began Sept. 7 and ended Tuesday Sept. 14, when a special election for the penny sales tax campaign took place.
“While this election did not turn out as we’d hoped, I’m grateful for the members of the City Board who placed this proposal before the voters and the people of Little Rock who campaigned with me for a stronger, more vibrant city,” Scott said in a statement released Tuesday night. “Your commitment and sacrifice to help Rebuild The Rock is to be applauded. I’m deeply appreciative of each of you and look forward to a day when many of the proposals that were part of Rebuild The Rock come to fruition.”
Mayor Scott had been rallying for support for The Rebuild the Rock sales tax for weeks, which supporters claimed would infuse tax dollars into programs and initiatives to make the city more competitive against other similarly-sized cities and help to bring in new residents, tourism dollars, and jobs. The penny sales tax was intended to go toward funding an ambassador program run by Downtown Little Rock Partnership, as well as infrastructure improvements, parks and recreation improvements, affordable housing and childcare, economic development, and job creation.
Little Rock has a permanent 5/8th cent sales tax that was put in place 10 years ago, with a 3/8th cent sales tax that’s going to expire at the end of December.
“In the weeks and months ahead I will continue to work closely with the Board and residents to make the
necessary adjustments for the expiring 3/8th cent sales tax,” Scott continued.
“We’ll keep fighting to Rebuild The Rock.”