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Newport Independent - Newport, AR
  • Loss of voluntary tax ‘devastating’ for JCLC

  • For more than 25 years, the Jackson County Tax Collector’s office has collected a voluntary tax for the Jackson County Learning Center.
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  • At the peak of the economy, the Learning Center around $40,000 annually.  In the last several years with the downturn in the economy and the addition of "the Beaver tax," the Center has seen a significant decrease in contributions.  Last year the Learning Center received approximately $12,000, a $28,000 decrease in funding.  
    Now the Learning Center has received word that the County will no longer be allowed to collect the tax for the Learning Center.  
    During this year’s County audit, the State Auditor informed the county that the practice of collecting for one non-profit over another was in violation of state law and would no longer be allowed after this year.
    “This is devastating news for the Learning Center.  Especially when we are trying to raise money to build a new Center,” said Director Glenda Rutledge-May.  
    In the past, the money collected has been used to help with operating expenses at the Learning Center.  The Center is now going to have to find a way to make up the shortfall.  
    “Over the past nine months, our focus has been on raising funds to build a new Center.  Now our focus will have to be making up the lost income.”
    Personal property taxes are due within the next week and May is urging all residents of the county to pay the voluntary tax this year.  
    “For most individuals the voluntary tax is not more than $10-15.  When everyone in the county pays it, it adds up to a lot of money for the Learning Center.  The really great thing about it is that the money people donate is going to a great cause right here in our county,” said May.  
    “We understand that not everyone has the financial means to give monetarily right now, so if you can’t but would still like to help the Learning Center, there are a number of ways you can get involved.  Just call us at 523-8488 and we’ll find a way to get you involved in one of our many projects.”

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