PAYNE COUNTY, Oklahoma - Voters in Payne County will be asked to approve a county sales tax increase that would benefit area fire departments.

The Stillwater NewsPress reports that Payne County commissioners have approved a measure calling for a one-sixteenth cent sales tax. Voters will consider the tax increase on the Nov. 6 ballot.

If voters approve the tax, it will go into effect April 1 and end five years later.

Assistant District Attorney Lowell Barto says the tax would provide $610,000 annually for area fire departments. The county says the money would be split among Payne County fire departments to pay for operations and equipment purchases.

The commissioners say the county has been hit hard by wildfires this year and that equipment at many departments needs to be replaced.