Medicine Park sales tax proposal on Tuesday's ballot

Medicine Park sales tax proposal on Tuesday's ballot
The $30,000 per year they believe it will raise would go toward infrastructure. (Source KSWO)
The $30,000 per year they believe it will raise would go toward infrastructure. (Source KSWO)

MEDICINE PARK, OK (KSWO) -Residents of Medicine Park, as well as visitors, may soon see an increase in the amount of sales tax they pay.

There is a proposed sales tax increase of three-eighths of a cent on Tuesday's ballot. The sales tax would go into effect October 1 and would be used to update some of the infrastructure around the town, including roads, sewage and water lines.

Medicine Park Mayor Charles Callich says he believes the sales tax could raise about $30,000 each year. Several residents say over the next five to 10 years; they believe that money could play a huge part in the community.

"I think it would be a good thing for the community, because I think that it could provide extra money to provide a lot of things we need," said Brenda Ballou, a Medicine Park resident.

"Sales tax revenue is our only source of income in a town of this size. It's very, very important that we have sufficient sales tax revenue to do the things we want to do in this town," said Jean Schucker, who also lives in Medicine Park.

The tax would begin in October and would be permanent. It would bring the sales tax in Medicine Park up to 9%, which is what shoppers currently pay in Lawton. Mayor Callich says the increase would allow the town to run more efficiently for both residents and tourists.

"They'd like to see things work a little better, not that we're in any kind of bad shape, it's just with the growth of the town there's some things we need to do to better accommodate everybody," Mayor Callich said.

Mayor Callich says the money would be used to fund new infrastructure all across town. The town is more than 100 years old, so naturally some of the sewage and roads are in desperate need of an upgrade.

He says the sewage system and roads will be one outlet for the funding, as well as fixing water lines in the town. He says the majority of people in town he has talked to have been in favor of the increase.

"This goes back to them. It comes back to the community. It's all about the safety of the community. We want to make sure that everyone who comes here to visit, which we have several cabins, they come here to vacation, the people who live here, we want to make sure that our infrastructure is up with the times," Mayor Callich said.

Early voting starts Thursday and ends Saturday. Voting is Tuesday, June 28. If you are unsure of where your precinct is, or who and what you can vote for, click here. You can see a list of other elections going on Tuesday here.

Copyright 2016 KSWO. All rights reserved.