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Increase in LR sales tax nets $23 million in 6 months

By Gavin Lesnick

This article was originally published September 19, 2012 at 11:49 a.m. Updated September 19, 2012 at 12:30 p.m.

parks-and-recreation-director-truman-tolefree-right-gives-a-report-wednesday-on-how-the-sales-tax-increase-has-been-spent-in-his-department-while-lr-cent-committee-member-donald-shellabarger-looks-through-an-accompanying-packet

Parks and Recreation Director Truman Tolefree, right, gives a report Wednesday on how the sales tax increase has been spent in his department while LR Cent committee member Donald Shellabarger looks through an accompanying packet.

This document shows tax receipts for Little Rock's increase in sales tax, passed by voters last year.

— An increase in Little Rock's sales tax has raised more than $23 million in the first 6 months it was collected, officials said Wednesday.

Members of a citizens advisory committee established to monitor how the new tax is spent received the figures, which reflect taxes collected through the end of June, at its meeting at the Hinton Neighborhood Resource Center, 3805 12th St.

Sara Lenehan, finance director for the city, told members of the LR Cent Committee that the taxes raised were very close to projections.

Voters approved the increase last September, raising the sales tax from a half percent to 1.5 percent. Five eighths of the new tax go to operating costs while 3/8 go toward capital expenses.

According to the figures, $23,026,474 has been collected so far — about $14.4 million on the operating side and more than $8.6 million on the capital side.

The committee on Wednesday also heard from city department heads about how the new money has been spent. Items included hiring 12 new firefighters to cover staffing a new station in west Little Rock and purchasing 18 new Dodge Chargers for the police department.

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