Forest voters said no to a proposed 2 percent tourism tax in Tuesday's special election, and yes to Lynn Atkison as the new Ward II Alderwoman. With extremely low voter turnout, residents rejected the measure by an unofficial vote of 155-130. The measure would have needed 60 percent of the votes cast to pass.
"I am disappointed that the tax did not pass," Forest Mayor Nancy Chambers said Wednesday morning. "It was an opportunity for additional funding to improve recreational facilities for our children, but the city will continue to try and find additional funding to improve parks and recreation without raising ad valorem taxes."
In the race for Ward II Alderman, Atkison, wife of recently retired Alderman Allan Atkison, defeated businessman Vance Cox for that seat 111 votes to 43.
As an early indication of voter turnout, at the American Legion where Ward II voters cast their ballots for the tourism tax, as well as an alderman’s seat, there was only one voter seen leaving the polls at 8:00 a.m. Tuesday.
The proceeds from the tourism tax would have been for the purpose of enhancing the parks and recreations programs and for promoting tourism, to include regionally promoting the city of Forest.