County considering public meeting on tax | News – Arizona News

County considering public meeting on tax | News – Arizona News

KINGMAN — The county supervisors will vote Monday whether to set a public meeting on adopting a quarter-cent sales tax that would go to pay off a public safety pension debt.

District 1 Sup. Gary Watson is asking the board to hold a public meeting at its July 17 meeting. 

The county faces a $21 million debt from the Public Safety Personnel Retirement System and the Elected Officials Retirement Plan. The county could pay as much as an additional $20 million in interest if the debt is paid over 20 years or more. That could double the total payment the county owes.

The county also faces a $2.5 million budget deficit, and needs $4 million to hire more sheriff deputies and fix compression issues in sheriff’s office pay.

At the last board meeting, most of the speakers favored a quarter-cent sales tax over a property tax increase. Four of the five supervisors favored a sales tax. Only District 3 Sup. Buster Johnson opposed the sales tax. It takes all five supervisors to pass any sales tax but just a majority to raise the property tax.

At its last meeting, the board did vote to increase the property tax to the maximum $2.48 per $100 assessed value on a home as part of a tentative budget. The board can reduce that amount but cannot increase it when it adopts the final budget at its Aug. 7 meeting.

A sales tax would be split between Mohave County residents and visitors to the county who purchase items in the county. About 60 percent of sales taxes are estimated to be paid by visitors. The sales tax would bring in about $6.5 million in revenue a…

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