March 25, 2004

Voters Will Decide Future of Special Road and Bridge Levy

The 31-cent tax, which has been in effect since 1947, goes before voters every four years for renewal and will be on the April 6 ballot.
Every four years voters elect a president. Since 1947, voters in Scotland County also have had to decide the future of the special road and bridge tax, which must be reaffirmed every four years as well.

The 31-cent special road and bridge tax levy will be on the ballot again when voters head to the polls April 6.

“This is nothing new,” said Presiding Commissioner Mike Stephenson. “It is not a new tax. It’s been on the tax rolls since 1947.”

The special levy accounts for nearly one half of the annual road and bridge budget, excluding the new rock funding. The regular road and bridge levy is 35 cents. The special levy is 31 cents. The department also receives ½ cent capital sales tax as well as the new 25-cent per agri-acre for road rock.

“This is an integral part of the road and bridge funding,” Stephenson said. If we lose the tax, it would be a huge blow to the department. But voters in the county have been wonderful to support road and bridge projects.”

In 2003 the special road and bridge levy generated more than $144,000 for the construction and maintenance of county roads and bridges.

“Originally the special levy was voted in at 35 cents but the county rolled it back to 31 cents and we have never chosen to return it to the full 35 cents,” said Commissioner Roger Riebel.

The commission also pointed out that by law, three-percent of the road and bridge funding can legally be transferred into the general revenue fund for administrative costs. The commission has chosen not to do this.

“We work hard to dedicate all of those funds to road and bridge projects like the taxpayers want,” said Stephenson.

The special tax levy is not earmarked for any particular projects but simply helps pay for the daily functions of the road and bridge department.



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