Community Will Decide City And County Sales Taxes In Same Election

Monday, October 1st 2007, 6:00 pm

By: News On 6

Skiatook voters will be asked to approve almost two cents in sales taxes next Tuesday. Besides the countywide river sales tax, Skiatook is asking for a new sales tax to replace equipment. The News On 6’s Emory Bryan reports the voters in Skiatook have to pass judgment on an unusually large amount of sales tax in one election.

At the Skiatook Fire Department, some of the trucks are new, some are almost worn out. City Manager Martin Tucker says the old equipment could be replaced if voters approve a new half-cent tax on the ballot next week.

"What I see that primarily being used for is equipment, we have all the street, electric, water equipment, the trucks the guys use," Martin Tucker, City Manager said.

Supporters of the tax have started a campaign for the half-cent and the extension of a full penny sales tax. The full penny would be for capital improvement projects like roads and buildings, but opponents want voters to turn down both of those taxes, and the county river sales tax too.

"I don't care nothing about going down there to that river, that's wrong,” said Skiatook business owner Horace Paslay.

Horace Paslay is leading the No to All Taxes campaign because he doesn't trust Skiatook's leaders.

"All of them got a different idea of what they're going to spend the money on, so that's just a way of getting it through," Paslay said.

Martin Tucker says the city does have a clear plan of how to use their sales taxes to improve city services and that the half cent increase is needed because costs are rising.

"Electric, copper, we use it for our electric conduit, PVC for water, all of those prices have gone up over the last three or four years," City Manager Martin Tucker said.

Having a city and county sales tax decided on the same day is complicated in Skiatook because of geography. The town is divided by the county line, and the river tax, a Tulsa County tax, would not be collected in the Osage County portion of the city. Skiatook didn't intentionally schedule their vote for the same day as the river tax. Their vote was set well before the county made the decision. They recognize it's not ideal for anyone, but said it was just unfortunate timing.

The vote on river development is set for October 9. For complete coverage of the River Vote, click here.

Watch the video: Voters To Cast Ballots On Two Cent Tax Hike

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