STAR CITY — The Lincoln County Quorum Court on Monday again discussed a proposed 1-cent sales tax increase, which will be on the ballot for voters to decide Nov. 6.

STAR CITY — The Lincoln County Quorum Court on Monday again discussed a proposed 1-cent sales tax increase, which will be on the ballot for voters to decide Nov. 6.

County Treasurer Ellen Robertson has estimated that a 1-cent (or 1 percent) sales tax increase in Lincoln County would bring in about $580,000 per year, depending on a number of factors.

Currently, state sales tax is at 6 percent, Lincoln County is at 1 percent and Star City is at 2 percent.

The tax issue arose because Lincoln County, like many other smaller communities in Arkansas, has had their states revenues slashed. The county was forced in July to lay off five employees with another having her hours cut in half.

An ordinance passed last month making the layoffs effective stated: “Lincoln County is experiencing financial difficulty due to cuts in state funds, reimbursement funds having a longer turn around, and tax funds being lower than anticipated for the year…”

Meanwhile at Monday’s meeting, Justice of the Peace David Rochell advocated holding public meetings to spread the word about the proposal and why most court members feel it is necessary.

“What’s the feel of the people?” Rochell asked county Judge Charles Capps about the proposed tax increase.

“I’ve been getting a good response,” Capps said. “People realize that we’re in trouble.”

Capps then said that Justice of the Peace Kip Dutton had a “good idea,” which was to compile information to print in local newspapers showing how much the state has cut the county’s funding.

“Is it possible to have a meeting somewhere out in the districts?” Rochell asked. “Because I’ve been receiving a lot of negative reports because people don’t understand it. If you want to sell this, the people really want to know where the money is going.”

Capps said the county’s budget shows where all the money goes. He also agreed with Rochell that a public meeting explaining the cuts and the need for the tax increase would be in order.

“So is it your plan right now to put it in the newspaper?” asked Rochell, “So there won’t be any areas for questions to be asked.”

“Yes,” Capps answered.

Capps said the information about revenue and expenditures “is all public record” and it will show the public what the county is receiving from the state this year as compared to last year.

Rochell then asked if a public meeting would be held in the Star City Civic Center for people to ask questions and hear about the tax proposal. Capps again agreed that such a meeting would be a good idea.

Dutton then asked Rochell if he wanted someone from state government to come and answer the questions because “we can’t answer them.”

“They have taken $350,000 from our budget and we don’t know whether or not we’re going to get it back. So how much plainer can you get?” Dutton said.

Rochell replied: “I don’t care if they come but I think the citizens of Lincoln County, before they vote ‘yes’ on a one-cent sales tax increase, want some answers, and I think we are due to give them answers as much as possible, even if we need the support of the state to come down and say this is why we did this.”

Capps again assured Rochell that he would gather all the information about the need for the increase.