Lincoln County voters to decide jail, ambulance service propositions

Both propositions involve ad valorem taxes

News-Star Staff reports

Lincoln County voters will decide two different propositions in a special election Tuesday, July 13. One proposes building a new jail and the other involves forming a countywide medical service ambulance district, with funding for both coming from additional property taxes, if passed.

Polls will be open for the countywide election 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Proposition 1 asks if Lincoln County should form an Emergency Medical Service District and levy a special annual recurring ad valorem tax of three (3) mills on the dollar of assessed valuation of all taxable property in Lincoln County, with the levy to be effective in the 2021 tax year and remaining in effect until lawfully repealed.

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Proposition 1 on the July 13 ballot.

Proposition 2 asks voters if Lincoln County should incur indebtedness by issuing general obligation limited tax bonds, in the principal amount not to exceed $13.5 million, to provide funds for acquiring real property, if necessary, and designing, constructing, equipping, furnishing, and maintaining a new Lincoln County jail and other related improvements. It also asks about levying and collecting an annual tax upon all taxable property in Lincoln County sufficient to pay interest on bonds when due and constitute a sinking fund for the payment of the principal when due, with the additional ad valorem tax not to exceed Five (5) mills on the dollar. The bonds would have an interest rate not to exceed 10 percent per annum, payable semi-annually and become due serially no later than 30 years from their date, the proposition reads.

Proposition 2 on the July 13 ballot.

Both propositions, if passed, would impact property taxes. Mills are part of the calculations in property taxes, and a mill is $1 per $1,000 of accessed value, or 1/10th of one cent. The accessed values in Lincoln County are 11 percent of a property's total market value, minus any homestead exemptions, according to reports.

While the jail measure asks for up to 5 mills, information provided by the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office indicates a 10-year debt plan would involve 4 mills in year one, and three mills thereafter, with a July 1 report showing the property tax impact on a $100,000 home would have an average yearly tax increase over the life of the jail bonds of $30.30 per year, or $2.53 per month.

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Estimated figures for the ambulance mills, based on a $100,000 home, would be $33 per year, other reports indicate.

Each measure would need 50 percent plus one vote for passage.

For the election, Lincoln County Election Board Secretary Melissa Stambaugh offers voters these important tips and reminders:

• Mark ballots using the example posted at polling places and inside ballot booths. If a voter makes a mistake, they should not try to correct it. Instead, they should take the ballot to the precinct officials. They will destroy the ballot and issue a new one.

• Voters do not need to make a selection for each issue on the ballot in order for the ballot to be counted. The voting device will cast votes only for those issues which have been marked.

• Ballots can be read by the voting device regardless of how the ballot is inserted into the system. If the system detects too many markings for a single office or question, an error code will appear. The voter can choose to submit the ballot as it is or request a new ballot.

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• If voters need assistance or would like to use the audio-assisted ballot system, they can let a precinct official know. Voters do not have to show proof of a disability to use the audio-assisted ballot system.

• Voters should be sure to bring an approved form of identification to vote. Federal and state issued photo IDs, passports, and tribal-issued, photo IDs are accepted. Voters also may also use the voter identification card they were mailed when registering.

• If voters forget their voter ID or their name is not found in the Precinct Registry, they may still cast a provisional ballot by signing an affidavit. A provisional ballot is sealed in a special envelope and counted after Election Day, once the voter’s information has been verified by the county election board. Election results cannot be certified until all provisional ballots have been researched, verified, and counted.

 All voters who want to cast a ballot should be in line no later than 7 p.m. Tuesday.

“Anyone who is in line by 7 p.m. on Tuesday and eligible to vote, will be allowed to vote,” Stambaugh said.

Voters can locate their polling location using the State Election Board’s OK Voter Portal at oklahoma.gov/elections/ovp.

For voter questions, the Lincoln County Election Board is located in the courthouse at 811 Manvel Avenue, Suite 15, in Chandler, and is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Election Board officials can be reached at 405-258-1349 or by email at lincolncounty@elections.ok.gov.