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Mammoth advertising tax used to buy signs

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Motorists entering Mammoth are greeted by welcome signs

NEW SIGNS: The advertising and promotions tax in the city of Mammoth Spring brings in an average $1,200 a month to the city. Two new signs welcoming people to the city were recently purchased with tax funds. Photo/Lawrence

MAMMOTH SPRING -- Two new signs welcome residents and visitors to the city of Mammoth Spring thanks to the revenue collected from the advertising and promotions tax.

One of the signs is located on Highway 9 south of the city. The other sign is located on Highway 63 south at Music Lane Road.

Mammoth Spring Mayor Jean Pace said the signs currently have no lights but will in the near future. She said they will be automatic dusk to dawn lights.

Pace said a law was passed four years ago by voters in the city. Any business in the city that serves food or provides lodging to pay the half-cent advertising and promotions sales tax.

There are currently 16 businesses in the city that support the tax.

"There are currently 30 cities in Arkansas that have the advertising and promotions tax. When as a city we first discussed what would be an acceptable advertising and promotions tax, I went around to all the businesses concerned and we decided to put the tax of a half cent on the ballot. The law states that cities could ask for up to as much as a 2-percent tax," she said.

Pace said the law stipulates what the tax can be used for.

"The funds can be used for advertising and promotions of parks in the city and community buildings. Two years ago the city used some of the funds to purchase the first new Christmas decorations in the city in 30 years. We have advertised our city in two state magazines, using the tax, Arkansas Bikers and Arkansas Antiques," she said.

After the advertising and promotions tax was passed the mayor and the city council appointed a committee to oversee the funds. Committee members include: Joan Baker, Carol Howell, Bonnie Gildersleeve, Bill Pace, Paula Smith, Andy Wood and Jim Mills.

The two new signs cost $2,446.88 and feature the work of local artists. The trout on the sign is compliments of Ron Byrum and Bonnie Gildersleeve provided the photo of the dam for the sign. The committee also decided where the signs would be placed.

Pace said four new benches have been ordered with advertising and promotion funds for Main Street.

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