Claremore Daily Progress

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June 6, 2013

Tax election set, portion will go for debt

Thacker, DeLozier support revenue shift to go for Material Services judgement pay back

(Continued)

CLAREMORE —

During the special meeting, commissioners discussed two reduction plans, a 1/6 of a cent reduction and the approved 1/8 of a cent reduction. 

According to information provided in the meeting, the 1/6 cent reduction would provide each of the three districts with more than $1,884,000 left available to be used on roads and bridges, while more than $1,130,000 put towards debt reduction. 

The 1/8 of a cent reduction would provide more than $1,950,000 for roads and bridges while providing $848,000 for debt reduction

The five-year impact of the 1/8 cent reduction will reduce the law suit debt by  $4,240,374, according to information from the Rogers County Commissioners office. 

According to information from the board of commissioners, 1/8 cent reduction will assist in having the total amount of lawsuit debt paid off in 10-11 years. 

Thacker said the estimate was made after looking at the history of debt reduction payments in the past.  

Delozier was in favor of the 1/6 cent reduction, but Thacker said with the obligations his district currently has, he would need the 1/8 cent.

Helm said he voted no because the county already passed a vote.

“This reduction is not going to do anything to decrease the years it takes to pay off the debt. For the next 12 years you’re going to be collecting for a 1/3 of a cent,” Helm said.

He said the reduction does not do anything to make that go away.

“Whatever money we put into it, you can only put against the principle. We have $4 million we’re going to put against it after five years and it won’t make the impact that take a 1/3 of a penny off,” said Helm. 

The county accrued the debt in 2004 after a jury awarded a $12.5 million judgement in damages for the inability to mine the Christopher Neal Begley Limestone Rock Mining Lease south of Oologah. 

Due to interest accrued during the civil appeals process, the judgement grew to approximately $32 million. Voters approved a one-third cent sales tax in 2012 to repay Material Services.

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