The Ward County Commission took a giant step Tuesday toward letting residents vote on a new 1/2 percent sales tax on the November ballot.
Commissioners approved language that would put the following question before the voters: "Shall Ward County Commissioners be authorized to issue tax revenue bonds, not to exceed______, for the purpose of constructing an office building, courthouse renovations, jail expansion and infrastructure repairs due to the 2011 flood and rising ground water, and to implement and collect a one half of one percent (.05%) sales tax as outlined in Ordinance 2012-1, which states that the sales tax shall take effect on November 7, 2012 and shall expire on November 5, 2022, unless all necessary funds are collected earlier?"
Whew, that's quite a question.
Commissioners set a meeting for Aug. 21 to consider the second reading of the ballot measure. They will also add details at that time, most notably how much money they think they'll need to raise to pay for the repairs, renovations and new office building.
The commissioners have their work cut out for them to provide substantial information to the voters of Ward County before the November election, especially if they decide in late August how much money will need to be raised. The public will need to know as much as possible about the issue and the ongoing need for space at the courthouse and jail if they are expected to support the measure in November.