Schuyler County voters to see 1% sales tax increase proposal on primary ballot

Published: Jun. 10, 2022 at 6:04 PM CDT
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QUINCY (WGEM) - In the June 28 primary election, Schuyler County voters will see a proposal to increase sales tax by one-percent.

If approved, the generated revenue would help pay for public safety purposes, specifically emergency vehicles.

Schuyler County Chair Chet Esther said the county operates four ambulances, but they stay busy.

He said one of them has over 200,000 miles.

If approved, Esther said the generated revenue would be used for emergency vehicle upgrades.

“If we can see that we have money coming in, we’re willing to continue to put some general funds into the ambulance to keep it going,” Esther said.

Schuyler County has one critical access hospital, but if patients need extensive care they must be transferred to larger hospitals.

Culbertson Memorial Hospital CEO Gregg Snyder said that in 2021 more than 500 patients were transferred out of the county.

In addition, ambulances responded to nearly 300 911 calls.

Snyder said that because reimbursement rates from insurance companies have lowered, the cost to keep ambulances afloat are rising.

“We’re not only looking at needing additional funds for operating day-to-day, but it’s needing additional funds so that we can replenish that equipment when it reaches end of life,” Snyder said.

Snyder also said that the four ambulances the county has keep busy. He says he’s concerned if additional revenue isn’t generated.

“The faster that we can get a patient transferred to a higher level of care is imperative to the outcome of that patient,” Snyder said.

Multiple residents were asked about the one-percent increase and received mixed reviews.

If approved, the increase would go into effect on January 1, 2023.

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