Claremore Daily Progress

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May 16, 2013

UPDATE: Recent county tax vote could be invalid

Legal notice of election not published as required by law

(Continued)

CLAREMORE —

It is yet to be determined the legality of the May 14 One-Cent tax election.

If the election is not valid the commissioners will be able to bring the issue back for a vote, however the election will cost the same as any other special election called by the county.

The Oklahoma State Statutes Title 19 OS 383 defines the publication requirements for questions submitted to voters.

“The mode of submitting questions to the people contemplated by the last two sections shall be the following: The whole question, including the sum desired to be raised, the amount of tax desired to be authorized, the rate per annum, and the whole regulation, including the time of its taking effect or having operation, if it be of a nature which can be set forth, and the penalty of its violation if there be one, is to be published at least four (4) weeks in some newspaper published in the county.” 

Judge John Maley ruled in Erickson vs. the city of Tahlequah on a similar issue in 2001. 

Maley found “the City of Tahlequah approved a resolution calling for a special election for the purpose of increasing the city sales tax by 1 cent. Tahlequah did not follow the law’s requirement that notice of a special election be given by publishing the resolution at least ten days before the date of a special election in a newspaper of general circulation in the municipality. Consequently, the election is void.”

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