Half of Proposed USMM Tax to Come From Non-Residents

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On March 12, 2019 the voters within the City of Fort Smith will decide on a one cent sales tax which will fund the completion of the United States Marshal’s Museum.

If the tax passes, non-residents, or anyone living outside the City of Fort Smith will be funding half the project. For every $100 spent, $1 will go towards the museum.

According to the U.S. Marshal’s Museum website, “Fort Smith is unique in that many people come into the city each day from a very large geographic area to work and visit. It’s expected that nearly fifty percent of the sales tax total will come from non-Fort Smith residents with the other fifty percent coming from Fort Smith residents.”

The tax, according to museum officials, will be short lived and will not be extended past it’s proposed nine months. The United States Marshal’s Museum Foundation is footing the bill for the cost of the March special election. Members of that foundation are seeking $15-16 million in additional funds to complete the project, which is already under way.

The initial announcement for the museum came in July of 2018. According to that news release, the projects projected total was $50 million. “Funding for the USMM project remains a top priority with $17.8 million remaining to fully fund the project.”

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Fort Smith attorney and founder of transparency in government, Joey McCutcheon along with the committee of Citizens Against Unfair Taxation are calling the project a white elephant. “This project could become a white elephant just like the River Valley Sports Complex and Fort Smith Convention Center,” stated McCutcheon.

McCutcheon said he wants people to be educated about this proposal. “They are holding a gun to the taxpayers head by saying there is no plan B,” he added. “But if you want to buy a $200k home and can only afford $100k, then you would buy the one you could afford and live within your means.”

McCutcheon added that he believes the foundation members “should do their jobs and raise the money for the project.”

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Tammy Teague

Tammy Teague

Mansfield native, with roots in Scott County. Daughter, sister, wife and Christian. Education: 1995 MHS graduate; 1999 Arkansas Tech University Graduate - BA in Journalism. Career: Managing Editor - The Citizen; Copy Writer - Southwest Times Record; 20+ years experience in the news.

One Reply to “Half of Proposed USMM Tax to Come From Non-Residents”

  1. Johnnie Manckiy says:

    I hope people vote no. I am not against the museum, but I am against the tax. The museum chose to build a building they know they did not have the money for. They should have chosen a building design they could afford to build and not what they wanted. This is on the museum, the taxpayers should not have to pay to fix their bad choices. The museum should have to live within its budget the same way we all have too. Vote NO.

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