Tahlequah Daily Press

April 3, 2013

Voters shoot down health department millage idea

By JOSH NEWTON
Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — Cherokee County voters turned down a proposition Tuesday evening that would have increased property taxes to support the construction or purchase of a new health-department facility.

Unofficial results show about 2,660 votes were cast in the county election – a fraction of the more than 24,600 registered voters last reported to state officials for Cherokee County.

Nearly 60 percent of people who voted, or 1,593 people, were against the request, with 1,067, or 40 percent, in favor of the proposal.

Health department officials said the additional millage was needed to build or buy a new facility for the agency, which suffered cuts to its services when a sewage backup shut down one of the department’s buildings in 2011.

Officials said they needed the millage to return services to their normal level.

The mill would have brought in about $165,000 extra each year for the health facility, and would have raised property taxes about $11 per $100,000 of assessed property value.