Road tax appears on ballot

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Next Tuesday, Barry County voters will be asked to decide if the county-wide one-half-cent road and bridge capital improvement sales tax should be extended for another five years. Local road districts receive more than 51 percent of funding from the tax.

"This is not a new tax," said Cherry Warren, Barry County presiding commissioner. "It is just time for the voters to approve another five-year extension, so we can have money for roads and bridges."

According to Lois Lowe, county treasurer, in 2010, the capital improvement sales tax brought in $1,743,547.48, which was divided between the county's 25 special road districts and one common road district. Funds were allocated to the road districts to complete road repairs and maintenance.

"Our road districts maintain 1,052 miles of road in the county," said Warren. "With the cost of maintenance materials increasing all the time, this is a very, very important tax for our county.

"It will be devastating to our county road system if the tax extension doesn't pass," said Warren. "Our money for roads and bridges would be cut by over half."

The one-half-cent sales tax was first approved in 1986. Since its initial passage, the tax was extended five years in 1991, 1996, 2001 and 2006. The tax was approved by 82 percent of county voters in 2006.

For more information, call the Barry County Commission at 847-4628.

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