The issue of the proposed Butler County 1/4 cent sales tax raised questions among some.

The issue of the proposed Butler County 1/4 cent sales tax raised questions among some.

One complaint was officially filed by a citizen with the Butler County Attorney’s Office, questioning the wording and validity of the sales tax ballot issued to Butler County voters as to the term of expiration.

Butler County Attorney Jan Satterfield responded that irrespective of the wording on the ballot or as provided in the statute, county officials cannot use the money collected from the sales tax for any other purpose than what the ballot states – an emergency communication system. So once the tax pays for the project, the tax will terminate.  If earlier than ten (10) years, then the tax will expire or terminate. As a matter of law, the tax will terminate in 10 years.  The sunset provision is meant and intended to insure the tax does not go beyond the 10 years as fixed.  The limitation is apparently based on projected revenue and cost analysis.

“I simply want to give the voters the assurance that to collect the tax beyond its authorization would involve legal implications and possible criminal action by her office for misuse or misappropriation of public funds,” Satterfield said.

“Hopefully, the decision to vote one way or another will be based on the merits of the question and not an alleged defect.”

The official ruling by the county attorney to the citizen who complained was she has no legal authority to interfere or impede with an election. She did not comment on the merits of the complaint. 

The citizen was advised there is a statutory mechanism for a voter/private citizen, to contest an election by challenging it with the district court, but that is only after the election process has been completed.  Any further examination of the technical wording would be a judicial determination, if challenged.