The Logan County Board of County Commissioners agreed and voted to allow citizens to decide if the county sales tax should be extended for another 15 years.
Commissioners Mark Sharpton, Charlie Meadows, and Monty Piearcy voted Monday morning at the regularly scheduled BOCC meeting.
“If passed, it’s not raising taxes it’s keeping everything the same now,” Sharpton said in the meeting.
In August 2014, voters approved a three-quarters (.75%) county sales tax to fund each fire department in the county, the jail, and roads and bridges. All three currently receive a quarter-cent (.25%) with the road districts evenly splitting into the three road districts and the fire departments splitting into the 13 fire departments. Deer Creek Fire Department has formally been annexed into the county and would be the 14th county fire department included with an approved tax.
Part of the approved 2014 county tax was implementing a 10-year sunset clause set to expire on December 31, 2024.
In May 2015, House Bill 1400, authored by then State Rep. Jason Murphey, was passed into state law stating that county governments are to allow voters to cast a distinct and separate vote on county tax questions. Related article: Logan County tax reform to go into law
For the March 2024 election, there will be three ballot questions for each entity (jail, fire departments, and roads and bridges) for voters to decide on. The commissioners voted to keep the same quarter-cent for each entity for 15 years.
“I agree on the amount,” Meadows told the commissioners. “I’ve had people ask me to increase it and I’ve had people ask me to decrease it. I’m stuck right on the quarter-cent for each one myself.”
The election will be held on March 5, 2024, during the state-wide Presidential Primary.
“To save taxpayers money I think we ought to put it on the Presidential Primary,” Meadows explained. “If it doesn’t pass, we can put it up again in November.”
The county could have elected for voters to decide in February but would have to foot the bill to hold the election which is estimated to cost approximately $20,000.
FY 2022-2023 Sales Tax Collections
In the last fiscal year (2022-2023), the county sales tax generated $3,998,923.25 in total.
The Logan County Jail’s portion totaled $1.3M to help run the jail which is the top statutory requirement by the state for the commissioners to fund.
The 13 fire departments evenly split their $1.3M, while the road districts split their $1.3M. Each of the three road districts accepted just over $444,000 each.