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Benton Voters to Decide on Public Safety Tax

Citizens will vote on the half-cent sales tax increase in November.
BENTON, AR -- In November, Benton voters will decide on a half-cent sales tax to fund public safety.

The city council voted Monday night to allow a special election on the issue.

Mayor David Mattingly said while the population has jumped, the number of police officers, firefighters and 911 operators have remained the same, and the growth is overwhelming city services.

He said the additional $2.5 million to support the public safety departments will benefit everyone.

"You get something back for it. It's not just give it to us and we're not going to try to make something more worthwhile out of it," Mattingly said.

Benton voters rejected a similar tax proposal in 2009.

Mattingly said city leaders will have to educate everyone on how important it is that the issue passes this time.
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