Local Communities One-Cent Sales Tax up for Renewal

Several area communities will be heading to the polls this Tuesday. Residents in Claremore will decide if they want to extend a local tax. It's a one-cent sales tax that has been in place since 1972. Residents have a vote every six years to extend the tax that gives about $3.5 million to police, fire, parks and recreation, and capital improvements.

"It's important to support these local sales tax options. Although Claremore has a population of about 18,500, we service about 55 thousand residents that live in the county, shop and do business here in Claremore. So, it's a critical element to support bases services," Claremore City Manager, Jim Thomas said.

Thomas said police, fire, and recreation will each get $650 thousand and capital improvements gets the rest. Police and Fire use the money for salaries, supplies, and new vehicles. Thomas said since cities in Oklahoma have to rely only on sales tax to fund things like police and fire, this addition to their sales tax insures those services get what they need.

"When residents dial 911, they want to know that police or fire are going to be there to respond to their needs, and so public safety is critical in a community that is divided on one side by railroad and the other by a major interstate. So we need good local public safety," Thomas said.

Polls will be open Tuesday February 11 from 7 a.m. till 7 p.m.