Letter: Resident questions if tax will fund ambulances
October 21, 2021
I am writing this letter today as someone who is torn.
Some of you may not be aware, but there is a special election coming up on November 2, 2021 where the only issue on the ballot is a General Purpose additional 1% county sales tax. We are told this is to help solve our county’s ongoing ambulance service issue, but upon deeper scrutiny of the resolution itself, I’m not sure it will.
Now please hear me out. I have family working for Sweetwater Medics and have, in the past, utilized EMS services for which I believe you cannot put a monetary price on. But there are problems with this proposition. The biggest is “A portion shall be used.” What portion? Would $5.00 fulfill a portion? Who decides the portion or how it’s spent at the agency level?
The resolution mentions 25% can be used for “Economic development.” What is that? Is it building EMS facilities? Equipment? Roads?
Or is this an area where money can go to literally any use that could be construed to have an economic impact on the county?
Additionally, this general purpose tax can be made permanent with nothing more than a resolution and may not ever come before the community to vote on again (even when we’ve been told it will). Combined with the Specific Purpose Tax propositions that will be on the 2022 ballot, Sweetwater County sales tax could be at 7% or 8% (percent) within two years, forever.
I have too many concerns about this to vote in favor. There are many more than I can list in this short letter. I encourage you to review the resolution and decide for yourself, then go vote on Nov. 2 or contact the County Clerk for more voting options if you are unavailable that day.