Next Tuesday voters will head to the polls to vote on continuing a one-cent sales tax that provides vital funding 22 county agencies. This tax was first passed in 1987 and has been approved at every election held since then.
Chairman of the County Commissioners, Colt Williams, said this is the biggest division of a sales tax he has found in Oklahoma. The tax is divided between: Senior Citizens Organizations, Rural Fire, Rural Emergency Management, County Commissioners – maintenance and operations of roads and bridges, County Sheriff, County Sheriff’s Reserve deputies, County Clerk, County Assessor, County Treasurer, County Court Clerk, General Government, Murray County Courthouse Facilities (restore, repair, maintenance and operation, and purchase), Emergency Medical Services (Ambulance), Enhanced 911 Services, OSU Extension Office, Murray County Fair Board-Fair Board Expansion and M&O, Home Extension Office, 4-H Organizations, Davis Chamber of Commerce, Sulphur Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development to Promote New Industry and Collection and Disbursement Accounts.
This decades old tax has helped keep the doors open to organizations like the Davis Senior Citizens Center. Williams said Davis feeds the most people. “Dougherty feeds kids in the summer and they don’t charge,” Williams said. “Hickory is the most conservative in their approach. These centers feed so many people and they are vital to our communities.”
The OSU Extension Office, Murray County Fair Board, 4-H organizations, Davis and Sulphur Chambers of Commerce and economic development to promote new industry are surprises to many when looking at the sales tax division but Williams said that these organizations are the future of Murray County and just as important as emergency services on the list.
The one-cent sales tax will not increase existing local taxes. “This is the same thing we have always voted on since the tax was established,” Williams said. County Commissioners, Kent McKinley and Darrell Hudson join Williams in asking for their support on this important trip to the polls.
This year’s ballot will look different. Instead of voting to pass the tax as a whole, voters will have to vote on each of the 22 areas the tax benefits individually. The 22 areas total a one-cent sales tax. Voters are reminded this ballot will be front and back.