County needs to use sales tax as it was intended

Published 11:14 am Friday, May 8, 2009

This letter is to the Lawrence County Board of Commissioners.

On April 1, 1998, a new tax was put on the books for the funding of emergency services in Lawrence County. The tax took off the 2-mil tax levy to support the EMS and put on a half-percent sales tax in its place.

In the public hearings of March 18, 1998, and March 25, 1998, we were told that this tax would support the emergency services of the county.

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I, as a part of the emergency services, supported this move as a positive move for the county. Now, the commissioners are trying to take that funding away from us and give it to the sheriff for funding.

How do you justify moving the funds from emergency service funds to public safety? The sheriff is not an emergency service.

They are public safety and they were not even named in the tax bill the county passed. But all county fire departments, EMS and 911 were included in the resolution.

Everyone knows that the sheriff needs more funding, but not at the expense of the fire departments and EMS and 911.

The fire departments have waited for funding from this tax and to date have only gotten a few thousand dollars. The commission has used this money to balance the books and keep promising to put the funds in the place that we were led to believe it was for.

As a fire chief in Lawrence County, I wish to go on public record that the county should use the half percent sales tax for the purpose that we were led to believe it was for.

Chief Mike Pearson

Hamilton TWSPFD