Carter County ambulance service hinges on tax vote - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Carter County ambulance service hinges on tax vote

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Carter County voters are being asked to vote on a property tax increase to fund ambulance service. (KTEN) Carter County voters are being asked to vote on a property tax increase to fund ambulance service. (KTEN)

CARTER COUNTY, Okla. -- Voters on the eastern side of Carter County will head to the polls on Tuesday, January 14 to decide on a proposed property tax increase.

The hike would help fund the Southern Oklahoma Ambulance Service by creating an emergency medical district.

If voters say "no" to the increase, the county would need to find a new ambulance service.

"Funding in the past has been privately funded," said Citizen Advisers for Regional EMS Committee board member Tim Longest. "We've been blessed with a lot of private foundations to name a few. That cash is depleting."

SOAS and the CARE crafted a proposal to raise property taxes for voters on the eastern side of Carter County. Money raised from the tax increase would go toward creating something new.

"What we're trying to do is develop an ambulance district that would keep service consistent, and the quality up for all the people in the area," Longest said.

SOAS could then bid for the contract and be able to continue providing services for western Carter County.

Some are not in favor of the higher tax; others believe residents should fund the service, much like police and fire departments.

"EMS should also be funded by the community; that way we can assure 24/7 coverage, adequate coverage, enough to safely provide care to all of Carter County," Longest said.

Early voting begins on Thursday.

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