Parks department needs sales tax revenue for upcoming projects

The city of Fort Smith Parks and the Recreation Department needs its dedicated sales tax to create upcoming projects.

Voters will decide whether to extend that sales tax in an election May 24.

The tax goes towards parks capital improvement projects and the Fort Smith Fire Department. The extension is one-fourth of a 1% tax. Half of the tax goes to the fire department and half goes to parks and recreation capital improvement projects.

Without the tax, the parks department would have to limit its work to mostly focusing on maintaining existing developments, said Doug Reinert, the department’s director.

The tax brings in about $ 2.5 million a year.

The parks department is always looking for grants and private donations to supplement the money it gets from the city.

“So we make those dollars go as far as we can,” Reinert said.

Over the last 10 years, the department has brought in $ 4.6 million in grants and private donations.

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