Voters in Saline County last week overwhelmingly defeated a proposal for a 1% sales tax to support $55 million of bonds for a new county fair complex.

More than 10,000 voters opposed the measures on the ballot for a 0.875% sales tax for the bonds and a 0.125% sales tax for operations. Supporters of the taxes totaled slightly more than 3,600.

The fair complex would have included several barns, covered arenas, livestock stalls, and exhibition buildings at the existing county fairgrounds in Benton.

Proponents of the new facility promoted it as a possible new home for the Arkansas State Fair, which is seeking a new location because its current site in Little Rock does not allow for expansion.

Saline County is one of two counties in Arkansas without a sales tax.

Meanwhile, voters in the northeast Arkansas city of Jonesboro approved a 0.5% sales tax for public safety. The town will use the expected annual revenues of $6 million to $6.5 million for police and firefighters salaries. Mayor Harold Perrin said without the additional revenue the city would have lay off as many as 25 firefighters and 35 police officers.

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