The Cherokee City Council decided to keep street work as the specific designation for the Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) that will be voted on Oct. 2.
Voters in the city of Cherokee, the city of Quimby and the unincorporated portion of the county will all vote on an extension on the one-cent sales tax but there will be three separate designations for use of the funds.
The revenue from the tax is collected throughout the county and divided among the municipalities and the county according to a formula based on total valuation and population. The amount designated for county use is based on valuation and population in the unincorporated part of the county (outside of city limits).
Quimby's participation in LOST expires at the conclusion of the current year but a vote cannot be taken on an extension or modification without entities representing at least half of the population of the county participating (the county's portion being restricted to those living in the unincorporated part of the county). So the county and Cherokee will participate with Quimby this year. Cherokee's 10-yeqr LOST does not expire until the end of 2011.
At the Cherokee City Council meeting on Tuesday, council members discussed the possibility of changing the designation of use for the revenue, projected to be about $450,000 next year, to provide some funding for community center projects. However, a vote on LOST failed twice in Cherokee and it was decided not to risk what council members thought was a vital funding source for street work.
As with the ballot measure approved in 2001, the revenue can be used for street work, storm sewer work, water main replacement and sanitary sewer line replacement.
The only difference between this measure and the one previously approved in Cherokee is that this will not have an expiration date. If approved by the voters in Cherokee, the council can still end the tax but without council action, the tax will continue indefinitely.
It was noted at the council meeting that the county measure to be voted on Oct. 2 will not have an expiration date. It the city's LOST had an expiration date, the city could be in a position of not being able to renew LOST because there would not be entities representing over half the population participating in a renewal vote. All the entities other than the county, Cherokee and Quimby already have approved LOST measures that do not have expirations.
The Quimby City Council approved a LOST ballot measure that includes an expiration date after 10 years. As it stands now, Quimby will not have a means of renewing LOST once it expires next time if the county and Cherokee approve their LOST votes.