Lately, a lot of people have questioned just exactly what the city’s A&P Tax is for? Why does it exist and how did it come about? Those are interesting and intriguing questions that should be explored. After all, the A&P funds are actually supported by the people’s money. On the second day of July, 2007, former mayor, Ken Edwards, signed the ordinance that created the A&P tax and also created the A&P Commission. This tax was created by the city government, not by a vote of the people. Ordinance 07-15 created a 1 percent tax on all prepared food sales within the city limits of the city of Greenwood. Since the tax is levied on prepared foods it has been dubbed the, "hamburger tax." There was a tax also created on lodging facilities in Greenwood. It levies a 3 percent tax on motel and hotel business in the city. The tax was intended as a source to fund events and tourist attractions in the city of Greenwood. Before the tax was created, any funding source for events had to come out of the city budget. The intent of such a tax was to free up budgeted funds for other uses.
A&P money cannot be used for events held outside the city limits. The A&P Commission strictly follows State Statute 26-75-605 in the care and distribution of funds collected from the tax. The A&P Commission pays the City of Greenwood 3 percent of the gross receipts each year as a fee for the administration of the tax funds. The A&P tax generates about $110,000 each year. Several organizations benefit from grants issued by the A&P Commission. Currently, the Parks Commission is awarded 40 percent of the revenues collected by the tax each year. An organization must apply for a grant; go before the commission and present documentation for their project, including an explanation as to how their project will benefit the city.
It is considered that the tourist and events industry is a big asset to the River Valley area. Each year many business travelers and vacationers find their way to our area. The completion of the Marshall Museum in Fort Smith will bring even more tourists to the River Valley area. It is in the best interest of the city of Greenwood to hold city-wide events that will attract as many of those tourist dollars to our area as possible. Legislation created the Advertising and Promotion Commission in 1972. The state law prescribes the make-up of the Commission which includes: 4 hotel, motel or restaurant owners or managers, 2 members of the city council, and 1 member from the public at-large.
Since the inception of the tax 7 years ago, Greenwood has seen significant increases in events promoting Greenwood. These increases have made a positive impact in the city as a whole.