Higher sales tax begins

Posted in: News
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Mar 28, 2013 - 8:31:54 AM

Stephens County voters approved a countywide sales tax increase last November that takes effect Monday. The 0.15 percent tax will be used to help fund fire departments and senior nutrition centers.
When county commissioners put the issue to voters, they estimated it would generate approximately $680,000 annually. The revenue would be divided 17 ways and doled out to 12 fire departments and 5 senior nutrition centers.
According to estimates, each fire department would receive approximately $40,000 annually to be used for instruction, equipment purchases and repair, fuel costs, training, and other needs – but could not be used for salaries.
Stephens County fire departments to benefit are: Marlow, Duncan, Comanche, Velma, Central High, Bray, Doyle, Oakridge, Empire, Meridian, Loco, and Corum. Marlow and Duncan are the only two departments with paid staff. Volunteers man the other departments.
Revenue for senior nutrition program would be lumped into one pool and proportioned to the programs based on persons served. Senior centers in Stephens County include Marlow, Duncan-North, Duncan-South, Velma, and Comanche.
The increase would move the county up in tax rates a little compared to the rest of the state, but it would still be in the lower half compared to other counties.