The Citizen Rate and Fee Committee suggested the City Council take a one percent sales tax increase to the voters of Guthrie. On Tuesday, the council unanimously approved the motion to help further aid the fire department, police department, city employees and capital improvements. Now, citizens will have the final say with a special election vote on Aug. 26.
The last city sales tax increase was approved by voters on Dec. 1, 1979.
The committee took approximately a year to take a look at the possible increase and determined the tax was needed for competitive compensation and benefits for all city employees, equipment and capital improvements.
“Salaries across the board for all city personnel are 25 to 40 percent below in the same positions in every community in Central Oklahoma,” Chairman Bob Davis said.
Davis went on to say employees are trained at entry level positions, but afterwards move on to surrounding communities for better pay and benefits.
Breaking down the additional one percent increase if passed:
– 1/2 percent towards capital improvements
– 1/6 percent for competitive compensation, benefits and firefighting related equipment for the Guthrie Fire Department
– 1/6 percent for competitive compensation, benefits and police related equipment for the Guthrie Police Department
– 1/6 percent for competitive compensation, benefits and equipment for non-union (full-time) city employees