Fort Smith Voters Reject Tax Hike for Marshals Museum

by Associated Press  on Wednesday, Mar. 13, 2019 9:46 am   1 min read

A rendering of the U.S. Marshals Museum, now under construction in Fort Smith. (United States Marshals Museum)

FORT SMITH — Voters in Fort Smith have rejected a temporary sales tax increase that would have paid for the completion of the U.S. Marshals Museum now under construction in the city.

Complete but unofficial results from Tuesday's election show that nearly 65 percent of voters opposed the temporary 1 percent tax, which would have generated about $15.5 million.

Backers of the museum had asked the city leaders to call an election for the nine-month tax because an expected donation had fallen through. Museum Foundation President Jim Dunn said in a statement that he was disappointed by Tuesday's outcome and he asked Fort Smith residents to unite to help finish the museum.

Opponents to the measure have said they support the museum but not the use of public money to fund it.

Also yesterday, voters in Benton County rejected a 0.125 percent sales tax increase that would have funded construction of a $30 million, 87,000-SF courthouse.

The vote was 38 percent in favor and 62 percent opposed.

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