Gan Matthews, News 9
NEWCASTLE, Oklahoma -- Voters in McClain county will head to the polls in April to consider extending a sales tax that could help the county's senior citizens.
On April 5, residents will decide whether to extend a half-cent, county-wide sales tax for another eight years. Proceeds from the tax benefit county fire departments and other agencies, including senior citizen centers.
The Newcastle Senior Citizen Center provides lunch for up to a hundred seniors five days a week. The center receives about $2,000 per month from the tax.
If the sales tax extension fails, Roy Wilson, the president of the Newcastle Center, says it will make matters difficult.
"We'll have to look somewhere else for our funding. That's not easy with senior citizens."
The Newcastle City Council has recommended a "no" vote on the tax extension, saying it doesn't like the way the tax revenues are being distributed. City Manager Nick Nazar says there's a lot of "pork"-- or unnecessary items -- in the sales tax.
"Fire protection is one of the things that we actually really do support," said Nazar. "Senior citizens is [sic] another area that we really do support."
Nazar says if the tax extension is defeated on April 5, the tax will continue to raise revenue through December. He says that's enough time to hold another vote on another county tax with a distribution plan more appealing to Newcastle.
Nazar says regardless of whether the tax is approved or defeated, the city will continue to provide generous support for its senior citizen center.