Both county sales tax issues fail

Tuesday, November 8, 2011 ~ Updated 9:30 PM

On Tuesday, Barry Countians voted against a pair of sales taxes designed to support county law enforcement and emergency services. Less than 21 percent of the county's registered voters visited area polls on Nov. 8.

The 3/16th of a cent law enforcement sales tax, which was placed on the special election ballot by the Barry County Commission, received a total of 1,983 "yes" votes and 2,201 "no" votes, which means 52.61 percent of voters opposed the tax.

The one-eighth of a cent emergency services sales tax, which was placed on the ballot by the Barry County E-911 Emergency Services Board, fared about the same. The issue received 1,988 "yes" votes and 2,194 "no" votes. The sales tax was opposed by 52.46 percent of voters.

The Monett jurisdiction overwhelmingly voted against both issues. Of the 281 residents who participated in the election, 78.65 percent voted against the county issue and 81.49 percent voted against the 911 issue.

Monett voters were not alone in their opposition of the county sales taxes though. Voters living in 12 of the county's 18 jurisdictions voted against both issues. Only voters who live in the City of Cassville, Crane Creek, Golden, Ozark, Roaring River and Shell Knob supported the taxes. Over 55 percent of absentee voters also supported both issues.

The law enforcement tax was expected to generate about $650,000 in additional revenue for the county. The county commission had indicated that the money would be used to provide additional funding for the prosecuting attorney's office and the sheriff's department.

The one-eighth of a cent emergency services sales tax was projected to produce $425,000 to $450,000 a year, which would have given the Barry County Emergency Services Board an annual budget of around $1.3 million to operate the Barry County E-911 Center.

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