MEDFORD, Okla. — Grant County will again collect revenue from a sales tax meant to benefit 12 of the county’s first-response agencies.
Nearly all 659 voters on Tuesday approved a proposition to again levy revenue from a 1 cent sales tax, originally passed in 2006, according to unofficial election results from Oklahoma State Election Board.
With all seven precincts reporting, 616 county residents — or 93.47% — voted to approve the proposition, while 43 voted against it.
Tax revenue will be earmarked to help fund services of 12 of the county’s emergency response agencies in eight towns: Grant County Sheriff’s Office and Grant County Emergency Services Association, Deer Creek Fire Department, Hawley FD, Lamont FD, Manchester FD, Medford FD and EMS, Nash FD, Pond Creek FD and EMS, and Wakita FD.
County sales tax collections will begin on Aug. 1 and last for 10 years, or until July 31, 2031.
Grant County Commissioner Max Hess, who represents District 1, said the revenue has allowed his local fire department in Manchester to make upgrades to the trucks, equipment and buildings.
“I know that the people in Grant County have been really supportive of these emergency service,” Hess said Tuesday night. “And even though we had some hiccups getting the election lined up, it sure was good to see the vote turn out like it did.”
A couple of delays kept an election from being held as planned before the initial first-response tax expired on April 30.
Updated state law on propositions first called for a trimmed-down word count, leaving county commissioners unable to vote to set the election in April while also following 60-day election board notice.
After setting the election back in February, commissioners then had to vote in May to cancel the race because the county clerk’s office reportedly did not publish 30 consecutive days’ notice in a county newspaper. During the same meeting, commissioners rescheduled the race to the soonest date, in July, in order to satisfy both the election board’s 60-day deadline and 30-day public notice.