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Cache could raise sales tax rate if voters approve

CACHE, Okla_The City of Cache is pushing for a sales tax increase to create an economic development fund. The Cache City Council voted this week to put the proposal on the ballot next April. They're asking for an increase of 3/4 of a cent and it would run indefinitely. The council said the tax will bring in around $60,000 a year.

The Cache Economic Development Authority's Randy Batt said there's no denying that the city has grown in the last decade, but he said it can do even better. He said an increase in sales tax would make a big impact on economic development

"If a business was to come in here and need a little assistance and they had a good sound business plan, we want to be able to help them. The first 12 months are critical, then we'd have the source to do that. If we had a project that involved a loan, we'd have a source to pay back the loan."

Batt said that was a challenge, coming up with a way to raise the money that would be acceptable to Cache residents.

"We looked at sales tax and we looked at increase on maybe the water bills. What came about between those two is that sales tax would be the best. If you just add a little to the water bill to pay for some of these projects then the people in the city are doing the whole brunt of it."

Batt said the authority decided on a sales tax increase because the added revenue from non-residents who are spending money in Cache. In fact in the last ten years, Batt said events at the school have brought thousands of people who are spending money around Cache. He said tax more of that money means more funding for improvements in Cache

Batt said the authority would also like to use the money to improve the overall quality of life in Cache: building better roads, upgrading parks and recreation facilities and more funding to the senior citizens center. Residents of Cache who are learning about the potential increase have mixed emotions

"Cache has done a lot with what little that they have and with the additional funds that they had to come in, I think they can do a whole lot for the community. I can see a lot of improvements that they've made especially to the park and schools here. With additional funds they could do a lot more," resident Jerry Greene said.

"if its to help the community than yes, I would be a little willing to help because that is what we got to do is help each other but as far as tax increases, that in itself doesn't sound like a good idea," resident Jacqueline Shields said.

"It helps out the community a lot, I don't know how many people would really like but I am one that would be all for it," resident Doug Shields said.

The Cache Economic Development Authority said the city needs a simple majority to raise the sales tax.

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