Jasper sniffing ‘burger tax

In 2019, a long range economic development plan for the City of Jasper was created by the Arkansas Economic Development Institute. The plan came about from a series of public meetings, attended by city officials and community stakeholders and led by the Northwest Arkansas Economic Development District and AEDI.

The plan, Jasper’s Future Strategic Community Plan, was published last July and has become the basis of choosing projects that benefit business, government, or the community and to improve the overall quality of life.

On Wednesday, March 24, a public meeting was held to discuss planning and tourism. About a dozen city officials and Jasper business leaders gathered at City Hall to discuss the possible sales tax on prepared food.

Harrison has a similar tax and refers to it as the “Hamburger” tax. 1% tax is collected on food and non-alcoholic beverages sold by restaurants, cafes, delis, and the like. Funds are then used on tourism, as the city’s Advertising & Tourism Promotion Commission chooses.

If Jasper pursues a Hamburger Tax, it would be established in an ordinance.

The tax would be beneficial because tourism is the core of Jasper’s economy, and the Hamburger Tax could be used for marketing and promotion of that asset.

Read the full story on the Newton County Times website here.