BOCC hears on tax hikes

Published: Thursday, August 28, 2014 at 10:12 AM.

The Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday held the first of two public hearings on a pair of tax hike proposals.

While a motion was put forward to stop the progress of a proposal to add 5 cents to the local gas tax, the motion died for a lack of a second after county attorney Jeremy Novak recommended commissioners conduct a second hearing Sept. 9 as scheduled before a final vote.

A proposal to add one penny to the bed tax collected for tourist development, which garnered far less comment, will also be the subject of a second public hearing Sept. 9.

A supermajority, four of the five commissioners, must support the proposals to be approved for implementation Jan. 1.

And for a time during Tuesday’s hearing there was a question about whether the gas tax proposal was had that support.

Commissioner Joanna Bryan, after public comment, quickly moved to halt the proposal, arguing there was money in the budget that could be carved out to mitigate the $116,000 a year the 5-cent gas tax would provide for operations at Public Works.

“I don’t think we are operating on austerity,” Bryan said. “I think there is a lot of room for cuts in this budget.”

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