You’ve probably heard about the ‘potential’ sales tax increase but we want to share some facts. As
commissioners the majority of the ‘complaints’ we receive deal with paving our roads. With
approximately 700 miles of roads in Campbell County and the average cost to pave 1 mile at $70,000,
the current operating budget of the Campbell County Highway Department can only pave approximately
10 miles of road annually. At this rate, it would take 70 years to cycle through a complete paving of our
roads and we all know that asphalt won’t last 70 years. The County Commission has a dilemma on how
to fund the paving of our roads and we are looking at various options. Do we lay off a large portion of
the county worker’s and risk them not having money to spend with other local businesses and risk
additional businesses failing when we don’t have enough jobs now? Do we raise the property tax rate
which puts the entire burden on property owners? We have many questions and limited options.
Therefore, we are bringing one option to the people. On the March 6th primary ballot voters will see a
sales tax referendum to raise the local rate from 2.25% to 2.75%. If passed, the new rate would take
effect July 1, 2012. This increase in rate translates to an estimated $900,000 increase in local revenue
which, when allocated to the highway department, will pave approximately an additional13 miles per
year. State law requires the majority of the sales tax revenue to be allocated to the school budget.
However, the overall increase in revenue will allow the commission to increase the highway department
budget by allocating additional property tax currently being collected. This would NOT be a one-time
funding. Once the funding goes into the highway department budget it must be funded annually due to
the ‘maintenance of effort’ requirement. If you make a $50 purchase the overall tax increase would be
25¢. It’s up to you … the voters.
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