The “hamburger tax” is a plan instigated by the City of Little Rock Board of Directors in early 2006 in order to fund the Clinton Presidential Center. The design for the tax is a 1.5% increase in taxes on prepared foods in Arkansas at local businesses and establishments such as restaurants (including drive-in restaurants), grocery stores, convenient stores, gas stations, cafes, cafeterias, small burger establishments, motels, and other related businesses. The ordinance is set to be annulled in six years time. The foreseen expectancy for the funds raised from the tax was $550,000 a year.
Residents were welcome and invited to the meeting to profess their opinion on the matter. Regardless of these opinions, the regulation was won with an 8-2 vote, with only one council member present, Alderman Steve Lee, who voted no. The other vote in opposition was by Alderman Leroy Allen, who stated that he would have voted against the ordinance had he been present for the council meeting. Allen felt that the ordinance was unjust because it was decided by the council and not the people. He felt that it should be the people who decide on whether they pay a tax or not; but the council had the final say on the matter.