Sales Tax Passage Critical To Rogers County, Commissioners Say
CLAREMORE, Oklahoma - Rogers County will vote again Tuesday on a tax that was rejected last year. County Commissioners say it's critical for voters to approve it, to maintain roads and bridges.
The one-cent sales tax is the main source of money for road maintenance, and though it was collected for 30 years, starting in 1988, voters turned down the renewal last summer. The issue was on the ballot during a primary, with the medical marijuana question getting much of the attention during the election.
The sales tax once collected about $7 million a year - and that money dried up last year.
"We've certainly quit planning any extra projects," said County Commissioner Steve Hendrix.
"If it passes, next week, it would go back into effect July 1, and the way appropriations run, we wouldn't see that money in our accounts until September, so almost a year without it."
Related Story: Sales Tax Propositions Fail To Pass In Rogers County
When voters turned down the tax, it forced the county to save money wherever possible - even suspending inmate work crews to save money for the guard, who is paid out of the County general fund. While the sales tax only pays for roads and bridges - the lack of it forced the county to spend general fund dollars on emergency repairs.
The County has 120 bridges to maintain and hundreds of miles of roads and many of them need work. The vote Tuesday will determine if that work gets started again.