Sales tax hike proposal would boost Byng firefighters - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Sales tax hike proposal would boost Byng firefighters

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If Byng voters approve a sales tax hike, part of it would fund a full-time firefighter. (KTEN) If Byng voters approve a sales tax hike, part of it would fund a full-time firefighter. (KTEN)

BYNG, Oklahoma -- Since Byng became a municipality in the 1970s, the local sales tax has been 2 percent.

Next week, residents will be asked to double that levy to 4 percent.

"We've always tried to keep our sales tax down, but now we feel like it's a need for public safety," said Byng Vice Mayor John Roan.

The proposed tax increase would bring in an estimated $72,000 annually. 

"Forty percent would go for law enforcement -- which would include the court system -- to enforce city code and also city ordinances," Roan said. "Fifty-five percent goes to the fire department, and that won't fully fund, but nearly fund the paid fireman."

With Byng's volunteer fire department, some calls get missed. A permanent firefighter will change that.

"We need a paid fireman during the day, and the reason for that is, that way we can assure somebody's going to be here," Roan said.

The new sales tax would also help the town's ISO fire insurance rating, which lowers rates for residents.

The vote is scheduled for Tuesday, November 12. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and voting is restricted to residents within the Byng city limits.

Click here to verify that your voting status and to view a sample ballot.

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