The Pryor Times

Local News

July 1, 2014

Chouteau mayor ‘not surprised’ tax raise proposition passed

Pryor Times — In the midst of a heated election, one sales tax proposition passed with very little discussion.

Chouteau's governing body voted to place the question on the ballot at a recent board meeting.

The proposed, now passed, increase represents the first tax increase for the town in 13 years. It is an increase of half a cent aimed at increasing revenue for the town.

Of the 339 Chouteau voters that voted on the proposition, 179 voted yes and 160 voted no.

The tax will jump from 9.875 percent to 10 percent.

“I'm not surprised the proposition passed,” said Mayor Jerry Floyd. “But I sure would have been disappointed if it hadn't.”

Floyd said it would rank Chouteau with one of the highest sales taxes in the county, but that it's revenue the town desperately needs.

In the midst of a budget shortfall Floyd said the city has had to make some sacrifices.

“This is our second year we've given no employee raises. Our police and fire budgets are down, we just can't afford everything they need,” said Floyd.

In 2012 Floyd reported that the town spends between $6,000 and $8,000 per month more than it brings in in revenue.

“Passing this increase just shows me we have a few people in town that really care about the town, and some that don't. But there's more people that do care,” said Floyd

Floyd said he is still actively trying to recruit businesses to the town to increase the tax base.

He is exploring the option of annexing in two businesses, a furniture store and a western store, south of town but says he is in a holding pattern.

For now, Floyd urges the citizens to spend their money in Chouteau, for the good of the town.

 

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