Pottawatomie County voters will be faced with the decision whether or not to make the 1-cent county sales tax permanent, but the permanency wouldn’t go into effect until 2013.

County Commissioners approved the resolution Tuesday that puts the initiative on the Aug. 26 ballot. The current sales tax expires in 2013, and if approved, the tax would go into effect then.


Pottawatomie County voters will be faced with the decision whether or not to make the 1-cent county sales tax permanent, but the permanency wouldn’t go into effect until 2013.
County Commissioners approved the resolution Tuesday that puts the initiative on the Aug. 26 ballot. The current sales tax expires in 2013, and if approved, the tax would go into effect then.
The tax was put into place in 1998 after voters approved the proposition. The tax was in place for five years, then voters renewed the tax for another 10 years.
The tax has generated about $6.3 million with it being divided among several county services, including roads/bridges, Pottawatomie County Public Safety Center, emergency services and others.
County Clerk Nancy Bryce said with sales tax revenue, the county was able to add $5,322,311.96 to the highway budget in 2006-07. The county’s total budget for highways was $10,865,869.69. Roads/bridges receive 60 percent of the generated revenue.
In a previous meeting, County Commissioner Buck Day said the county generates about $530,000 each month from the sales tax, which is $100,000 more than it was five years ago.
The appropriations for the sales tax revenue had 4.25 percent to be allocated for emergency services without specified amounts, but the proposition before voters will give 1.0625 percent of the tax to the sheriff’s office, enhanced 911, ambulance service and additional county emergency services.
Day told the News-Star the county is getting a jumpstart on making the sales tax permanent, so the entities involved can plan for the future.
“If we wait for the last minute and something goes wrong, everyone will be pressured to make something happen,” he said. “We all need to plan for future projects.”
Day said the county has to plan for future road projects, as well as the jail planning. He said the jail receives a large percentage of its funding from the sales tax revenue. The jail receives 20 percent of generated revenue for construction, operations and maintenance.
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Amanda Gire may be reached at amanda.gire@news-star.com or at 214-3934.