LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - Comanche County voters will get a chance to extend a public safety tax that’s been around for a few decades.
Every seven years, the Comanche County Public Safety tax has to be voted on again by community members.
Chris Jones is the Indiahoma Fire Department Chief.
He said the Public Safety Tax brings in steady income every month that Indiahoma and other volunteer fire departments rely on.
“I don’t know if some of the volunteer departments around the county could survive without this. It takes a lot of money to keep a volunteer fire department going fuel costs are high, maintenance cost. Even if you’re outfitting one firefighter with a set of protective gear that they wear in a house fire, it could easily go two to three thousand dollars per firefighter, and a lot of these departments have 15 to 20 firefighters on their department,” Jones said.
Jones said it helped them purchase a new engine about a year ago, also.
Comanche County Fairgrounds Executive Director Richard Pool said the fairgrounds banks on the tax year in and year out.
“A large percentage of the money of education Ag youth and if you really think about it, if we don’t educate Ag youth farmers, ranchers are not getting any younger we’ve got to educate these people,” Pool said.
The tax also supports Comanche County Sheriff’s Department, Jail, and Industrial Development Authority.
Comanche County Western District Commissioner Alvin Cargill says without this tax. All of these departments and operations will have to figure out how to make up the funding.
“It’s always passed, and that’s why we want to ask the citizens to please get out and vote and vote this thing passed again because it’s important to a lot of entities in the county. We depend on it heavily,” Cargill said.
Jones hopes the tax will be passed for another seven-year period.
“A lot of the fire departments, a lot of the stuff isn’t seen and what they do and what goes on behind the scenes and a big part of that is funding,” Jones said.
If passed the tax would go into effect the beginning of next year.
Early voting for the tax beings Feb. 25 and end on Feb, 26.
The official voting day with be Mar. 2.