Election day: Lincoln County voters to decide jail, EMS propositions

Shawnee News-Star staff

Lincoln County voters go to the polls Tuesday, July 13, to decide two different propositions — whether to build a new jail and whether to form 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 from 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property in Lincoln County, with the levy to be effective in the 2021 tax year and remaining in effect until lawfully repealed.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 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.

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.

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.

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.

Watch for election results Tuesday night online at www.news-star.com and an updated results story will be in Thursday's News-Star.