Scott City Officials Are Opposed to Ballot Question on Central Dispatch

A ballot question that would impose a countywide 0.25 percent sales tax for central dispatching of emergency services in Scott County does not sit well with members of the Scott City Council. Council members voted unanimously on Monday night to individually vote against the measure in November. One member described the ballot question as sketchy, as Scott City and other Scott County officials received little to no communication from the county on what the impact of the ballot question could be if passed. City officials say they’d rather keep the voters’ focus on another item on November’s ballot, the internet sales tax. If passed, a use tax could generate $200,000 or more a year by levying a 1.75percent tax on online purchases from out-of-state companies.  They also say they knew little about the proposed central dispatch other than the description provided on the November election’s sample ballot. Other officials say here were too many “unknowns” about the ballot question. They didn’t know how the proposed central dispatch” would affect jobs, response efficiency or taxpayers’ money. This proposed sales tax would raise close to $900,000 every year and the sum would be divided among Scott County municipalities based on population size, officials say. Scott County currently has a 15 percent tariff fee on landline phones that supports emergency dispatching. Scott County’s current dispatching system is almost impossible to maintain with the dwindling funds raised from the tax on landline phones. Upgrading to the most recent equipment would allow dispatchers to locate a person in distress easier and quicker, officials say. All three agencies updated to the same equipment. Each entity’s mapping matches, allowing agencies to assist other agencies if one is ever unable to operate. Officials say they if the question passes, officials say each center will remain its own entity as they always have. The “central dispatch” written on the ballot doesn’t mean one consolidated location for emergency services.

 

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