New employees of the City of Little Rock may receive a financial incentive to reside within the municipality.
The city’s Board of Directors is considering a $5,000 dollar gift for employees who buy homes in town, or $2,500 to employees who rent in Little Rock. The board discussed possible residency incentive for city employees at its meeting Tuesday.
City spokesperson Jennifer Godwin says the proposal was inspired by a recent failed initiative to require police officers to live within city limits.
“This is a big positive overall. We’ve already encouraged our employees to eat and shop in the city. This is them choosing to make Little Rock their home,” she said. “It’s a way to stay connected to the city, to actually live in it.”
Godwin says the funds would be more than returned to the city through property taxes, and the goal would be to encourage employees to feel more connected to Little Rock.
“It’s tough to require an employee to live in a place. That’s not our intent here. We don’t think that stick approach would really be effective, but to offer this incentive to encourage employees is an idea I really think the time has come for,” said Godwin.
According to the city, 57 percent of its 1,903 full-time employees currently reside outside of Little Rock. The Board of Directors will vote on the proposal next week.