North Little Rock voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly endorsed a proposed one-cent sales tax increase for the city.
The increase was the only thing on the ballot in the special election and it was approved with a vote of 2,786 for and 1,925 against. That’s 59 to 41 percent.
Polls closed at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday and early voting results were the first to trickle in, and those voters were in favor of the increase as well.
Final tallies were posted by the Pulaski County Election Commission a little after 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday night.
The sales tax increase has two parts.
Half will be a permanent increase that will help fund city operations. The other half will sunset after five years and will be used to improve city facilities for the police and fire departments, among others.
The sales tax increase had been pushed heavily by Mayor Joe Smith, who hit a community meeting and held multiple town halls to discuss the issues with the voters.
Smith had previously said he was hoping for turnout in the 8,000 range but 4,713 went to the city’s 27 polls or cast early or absentee ballots.
North Little Rock has nearly 39,000 registered voters, so the turnout was at approximately 12 percent.
The increase will become effective Jan. 1 of the coming year and the half-cent increase will sunset in 2023.