Rogers County Commissioners have made a significant change in how it will disperse a 1-cent road tax if passed on Aug. 13. They agreed on Thursday to commit 1/8 of the cent to pay off the county’s multi-million dollar judgement with Material Services.
Commissioners were forced to lay aside election results from a May 14 election that would have renewed a 1-cent sales tax, because the county did not publish legal notice of the election in a county newspaper as required by state statute.
Commissioners officially set a new election for Aug. 13, but this time voters will have the opportunity to renew the tax that will go to roads and send a small portion of the anticipated $6 million commissioners receive annually to repay the county’s judgement.
The resolution approval allows for the question to be voted on during the Aug. 13 county sales tax election.
The remaining amount of the 1-cent tax will still be used for maintaining roads and bridges for the next 5 years.
Thursday’s resolution was approved by a vote of 2-1. Commissioners Kirt Thacker and Dan Delozier voted in favor of the resolution, while commissioner Mike Helm voted no.
“We just want to pay it off faster and there’s no down side to that,” said Thacker.
He said the goal of the resolution is to reduce the tax burden for Oologah, Chelsea, Inola and Claremore.
“The cities don’t get the money directly, but when we get this debt paid off then they can charge less tax, maybe getting more development coming.”
Before the vote, Helm made the motion to keep the one-cent tax as it was without any added reduction; however, no commissioner seconded the motion.
Delozier said the reduction will impact the county by showing that the board of commissioners are making an effort to help pay this tax off.