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Duncan's Half-cent Sales Tax Up for Renewal

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DUNCAN, Okla._Duncan voters will now decide whether the city's half-cent sales tax will continue for next five years.

Tonight, the city council approved a motion to put the tax renewal on a special election ballot set for this spring.

The tax money has solely been used to bring business into the city. But if approved this year, those dollars will be divided.

If approved this year, half of those dollars will fund long-overdue projects like plugging potholes and generating electricity.

So will the people of Duncan vote yes to the sales tax again now that the city's needs are involved? City manager Jim Frieda is confident that answer is yes.

It's no secret that Duncan wants a big-time business boost. And thanks to the half-cent sales tax, storefronts are starting to flock to the Stephens County staple. But now Duncan wants to split that cash flow up to allow for required repairs.

"Quite candidly, based on the needs of the infrastructure, if your infrastructure is not attractive to business that's coming in, if streets are bad, water supply is in need of improvement, things like that...we definitely have to improve those areas to keep businesses interested in coming here," said Frieda.

Waurika Lake's levels are causing concern, prompting the city to push for the pennies' consistent proceeds.

"We're going to have to look at alternative sources for our water. We're looking for sources, perhaps drilling wells to increase our reservoir in case that Waurika supply runs out in the future," said Frieda.

But Frieda says if the sales tax is ultimately approved by voters, he wants to make clear that the city's objective remains the same.

"We're always trying to be competitive with other communities, but if you don't have roads, if you don't have business, then your community tends to shrink.

I think we've done a good job and we'll continue to do a good job," he said.

Voters will now head to the polls on April 1st.

City manager Frieda says if the tax is renewed, the city hopes to bring in around two million dollars for the next year alone.

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