State law says it’s a county’s responsibility to run a county jail. And when city jails in Pulaski County closed in 1994 — absorbed into a new regional facility — the county pledged to pay much of the tab, with some help from cities. But as the jail’s budget ballooned with its population, so did the county’s bill.
“Since the biggest cities have more crime, shouldn’t they pay more?” That’s what many county leaders ask. City officials argue that they do. About 60 percent of the county general fund comes from countywide property and sales taxes. But the bulk of that money comes from the cities in the county, particularly Little Rock. Figures below illustrate this, by breaking down the amounts collected, by geographic area, from a couple of major county revenue streams,, its property tax and its one-cent sales taxe
Little Rock $11,000,129
North Little Rock $2,715,680
Unincorporated Pulaski County $1,736,285
Cammack, Wrightsville, Alexander $53,925
Countywide Total $18,221,086
SOURCE: Pulaski County Treasurer’s Office
• The figures reflect current 2004 Tax Year collections.
1-cent Sales Tax
Little Rock $6,593,483
North Little Rock $2,399,970
Elsewhere in County $544,875
Countywide Total $10,798,623
SOURCE: Estimates based on state figures.