A special election will be held in Saline County on Aug. 10 to allow voters to decide on a two-part, 1% sales tax to finance $60 million of additions and improvements to the existing county fairgrounds.
The ordinance setting the election calls for the county to issue up to $52 million of capital improvement bonds for the fairground project and another $3 million of bonds for community centers at the location.
The Central Arkansas Fairplex would be financed with bonds supported by a 0.875% sales tax.
The county plans to operate and maintain the facility with revenue from a separate 0.125% sales tax.
The maintenance tax would expire in 2017. The sales tax supporting the fairground debt would expire when the bonds mature.
Jill Jones, executive director of the Benton Advertising and Promotion Commission, said the project to build a new fairgrounds and entertainment complex in the Little Rock suburb of Benton could be scaled back if the bond proceeds are not sufficient.
Jones said at least $50,000 in private donations has been raised to pay for bond election expenses
The facility would consist of a large arena with barns and pavilions that could host horse shows, rodeos, and regional sports competitions.
Saline and Monroe counties are the only two in the state without a county sales tax.