Lincoln County voters reject new county jail, EMS district propositions

Kim Morava
The Shawnee News-Star
Lincoln County jail proposition.

Lincoln County voters on Tuesday rejected two different propositions that would have resulted in increased property taxes to fund a new county jail and an Emergency Medical Service district for the county. Just less than 2,500 votes were cast in each measure.

The jail proposition proposed bonds to build a new $13.5 million Lincoln County jail, with 1,881 voters — or 78.31 percent — voting no. There were 521 who voted yes, or 21.69 percent.

Voters also nixed a proposition to create an Emergency Medical Service District. In that measure, 1,533 — or 63.72 percent — voted no, while 873 people, or 36.28 percent approved.

The EMS issue would have levied a special annual recurring ad valorem tax of three (3) mills on the dollar of assessed valuation of all taxable property in Lincoln County, effective in the 2021 tax year, and would have remained in effect until lawfully repealed.

Related:Lincoln County voters to decide jail, EMS propositions

Proposition 2 asked 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 asked about levying and collecting an annual tax upon all taxable property in Lincoln County, with the additional ad valorem tax not to exceed Five (5) mills on the dollar.

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 property 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 asked for up to 5 mills, information provided by the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office indicated 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, if it had passed, would have an average yearly tax increase over the life of the jail bonds of $30.30 per year, or $2.53 per month.

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

Each measure needed 50 percent plus one vote for passage.

Watch for updates.