Carter County’s special election for the renewal of two sales tax measures is Oct. 10, and county officials urge citizens to consider the ramifications of eliminating that source of revenue.
Commissioners are seeking approval for the renewal of the one quarter of one percent sales tax toward technology equipment and classroom materials for all common school districts in the county, as well as the one quarter of one percent sales tax for county road and bridge maintenance.
These taxes, already paid by Carter County citizens, expire in December. The renewal would extend the taxes for five years.
The deadline for voter registration was Sept. 15. As of that date, 28,579 Carter County citizens are registered to vote, according to secretary for the Carter County Election Board Lizabeth Hall.
Since the election is for the renewal of taxes, Hall doesn’t anticipate a large turnout, but conceded that estimating voter turnout ahead of any election proves difficult.
“You just never know,” Hall said. “You have to prepare like it’s going to be a blockbuster and hope for the best. It’s over a rollover tax, so I’m thinking probably not a huge turnout, but hopefully I’m wrong.”
Jerry Alvord, Carter County Commissioner for District 3, said it’s hard to tell just how much the county would suffer were voters to decide to do away with the taxes. But the average price of living and other ramifications could result from the elimination of the taxes, he said.
As state funding continues to dwindle, and lawmakers continue to convene in a special session at least through the weekend, Alvord isn’t confident much help will come from the state.
“If we lose this, the implications could be more than what we are comfortable with, to say the least,” Alvord said.
County commissioners are already prepared to be stripped of the taxes, but there’s currently no plan to supplement the loss of funds.
“Nobody is tickled about taxes,” Alvord said. “Taxes are not an appreciated item. However, the taxes will not be increased, but hopefully maintained. But anything could happen, and we realize that.”