Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

October 22, 2013

County tax now on the clock

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat — Talks are about to get revved up on the future of a Garvin County sales tax set to expire next year and likely headed to voters one more time.

The clock is ticking on a half-cent county tax approved by voters across the county back in 2007.

What county officials are beginning to look at is the fact the tax was approved for a seven-year period.

That means the tax targeting improvements to Garvin County’s courthouse, jail and rural roads over the past few years is set to run out next summer.

During a regular meeting Monday morning a trio of county officials said this is the start of discussions for efforts they hope will ultimately end with the tax being renewed sometime next year.

They’re also quick to stress the tax has done plenty to help the three main areas on the ballot during the tax election all those years ago.

”For the courthouse it’s done a lot,” said County Clerk Lori Fulks.

Those improvements include a bunch of areas in the courthouse, including a new roof, the construction of an exterior elevator, remodeling parts of the ground floor, windows and a variety of upgrades to the building’s disability access.

These are only a few of the areas addressed as more are to come later, like a good “facelift” to the exterior of the courthouse building, some work to sidewalks and possibly the roof situation for the annex portion of the facility.

“It’s done a lot of stuff we needed,” said District 2 Commissioner Shon Richardson about the tax.

Both Richardson and Stan Spivey, District 1, briefly discussed the measure during their weekly meeting Monday.

Along with Fulks, they said the half-cent tax has generated in the neighborhood of $1.9 million each year on average since the money started coming in back in the summer of 2007.

With the tax set to expire on June 30, 2014, commissioners said they will start to closely look at the specifics of the tax, such as the areas earmarked for funding.

There will likely be some presentations to the public later on offering more detailed information on how the tax has benefited the county government here.

The two commissioners confirmed they do plan to take it before voters in some form next year in the hope it gets renewed, possibly on a permanent basis.