Cherokee County Excise Board members are expected to approve and send a statement to the Firefighter Sales Tax Advisory Board later this month concerning appropriation of sales tax proceeds to pay a deputy county clerk.

The board discussed the matter Tuesday with County Commission Chairman Doug Hubbard and County Clerk Marshel Bennett. No vote was taken on sending the statement, which is part of the process to appropriate the tax money.

Excise Board Chairman James Haney said the board will not officially sign and send the statement to the board until after the county's budget is approved. That should take place later this month.

"That's the right time to do it," Haney said. "It'll be in the budget, and we'll send them the statement."

Bennett and some of the tax advisory board members have been at odds this fiscal year over the amount the county clerk's office should receive. Bennett asked the board for $28,354.22 to fund part of the lowest-paid deputy's salary in her office.

State law allows the clerk to receive a portion of the sales tax funds for bookkeeping purposes. The fire department purchases go through the county clerk's office.

Hubbard said the money given to Bennett's office will not effect the amount each department receives a month.

"It's taken out of the advisory board's share," he said.

Bennett said $19,800 of her request is for salary and $8,554.22 is for fringe benefits. Hubbard said the requested money will come from a fund that contains approximately $800,000.

The tax advisory board denied Bennett's request, and suggested she receive $12,000 from the sales tax.

Haney said the $28,354.22 is not out of line when the alternative is considered. Hubbard said he doubts firefighters could find someone to take on the duties now performed by the county clerk's office for the county firefighters.

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