Proposed levy on specific Pine Bluff city employees amended

An amended version of Ward 4 Alderman Steven May’s proposed tax on city department heads who live outside Pine Bluff is expected to be addressed by the City Council Monday.

Discussed in committee Thursday, the amendment reduces the amount of tax collected, limits the number of employees affected and pushes back the date that the law would go into effect.

Mays has named his proposal a community friendly privilege fee. It would levy a 4 percent city tax on the gross wages of city department heads who do not live within the Pine Bluff city limits and are hired on or after Jan. 1, 2014.

The proposed ordinance calls for the funds collected from the privilege fee to be used for the promotion of youth employment and the prevention of juvenile crime and delinquency among 13 to 18 year olds; the covering of roadside drainage ditches; and the construction and improvement of sidewalks along city streets.

The item was discussed during the Pine Bluff City Council Administration Committee meeting Thursday. The group did not reach a quorum, so the discussion was informal.

The proposed ordinance, which had been referred to the administration committee for further consideration at the July 1 City Council meeting, is on the agenda for the meeting of the full council at 5:30 p.m. Monday.

The initial wording of the proposed legislation called for a 5 percent tax applicable to all city employees living outside the city limits hired on or after Sept. 1, 2013.