County officials praise voter decision on sales tax proposition - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

County officials praise voter decision on sales tax proposition

COMANCHE COUNTY, Okla._Comanche County officials are celebrating the voters' decision Tuesday to approve a sales tax proposal to primarily help fund the county jail, along with other county services.

The plan included a slight increase, by combining and extending two current one-eighth cent taxes, and adding another eighth-of-a-cent to that. The increased tax rate will take effect starting January 1, 2015.

Gail Turner and Don Hawthorne said they were happy to see voters go out and have their voices heard about increasing the sales tax, which shows how much the citizens of Comanche County care about the county and the people in it.

Some say it's just one eighth of a cent, but the county commissioners know how much that really means.

“The city benefits at a greater percent of that 1/8th tax that was renewed. Look at Second Street, Goodyear, and a lot of good examples of where that economic development piece of that tax goes," said Turner, District 1 Commissioner.

And with the tax increase by an additional eighth-of-a-cent, they say it's a blessing and the county will be better because of it. The tax isn't just for economic development but also for safety, including the jail.

"We got the confidence of the voters that we do indeed need the additional revenue to run the jail and also renew the tax that helps the rural fire departments, the sheriff, fair grounds," said Turner.

Turner said it is important to keep the rural fire departments funded so they can be there when we need them the most.

"A lot of our firefighters are first aid, EMT trained, certified. They are the first responders if something happens. A heart attack, a car wreck, a lot of times they are the first people there. So, they are a major asset for the safety and welfare of our county," explained Turner.

Commissioner Hawthorne said that without that tax, other programs might have to be cut in order to fund the county jail. He say's that thankfully that won't have to happen now.

Hawthorne has won the primary election and does not have anyone else to run against from other political parties, he will continue to be the District 3 Commissioner for Comanche County. Gail Turner will face off against Joe West in November for the opportunity to serve as the District 1 Commissioner.

Grant Edwards won the primary election for County Assessor; he will face off against Gary Yackeyonny in November.


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