County tax renewal talks to return

The fate of a Garvin County sales tax in place for more than a decade is expected to soon be at the center of some upcoming discussions.

Right in the middle of those future talks will be all three county commissioners – Kenneth Holden, Gary Ayres and Mike Gollihare.

The countywide half cent sales tax has been in place since 2007. Voters approved the tax a second time in 2014 for another seven-year period.

With the tax set to expire in 2021 commissioners are expected to discuss bringing the measure back before voters this spring and the specifics of what to do with the revenue if the tax is renewed.

“We need to discuss when you want to run that election,” Assistant District Attorney Carol Dillingham said to the trio of commissioners during a regular meeting earlier this week.

“The special election will probably run in April. We have to have that called by the first week of February,” she said about the formal resolution calling for a special county election.

Both times the half cent tax was previously approved it was limited to seven years before the measure could go back on the ballot for voters' approval.

Revenues from the first seven-year period of the tax went to make a number of renovations to the county courthouse building and supplement funding for the county jail and county roads.

Then in 2014 another area, the county's 911 emergency dispatch center, was added to areas receiving funds from the sales tax.

Along with 911, revenue from the tax has also been earmarked for the county sheriff's department and county commissioners for roads, while a portion has gone into the county's general fund.

“All the items for the sales tax must be named on the resolution; the percentage of funding going to each item does not,” Dillingham said about the items to be placed on the ballot when an election is expected to be held on April 6.

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