Barry County voters defeated two sales tax issues in voting yesterday.
Both a 3/16th of a cent sales tax to support law enforcement and a one-eighth of a cent sales tax for Barry County E-911 were turned down. Only about 200 votes separated those voting in favor and against the tax proposals, and the vote counts were almost identical for both issues with 52 percent voting against the measure and 47 percent in favor.
The law enforcement tax attracted 1,983 "yes" votes compared to 2,201 "no" votes. The emergency services tax garnered 1,988 positive votes and 2,194 negative votes.
Monett voters overwhelmingly voted against both issues. Of the 281 residents who participated in the election, 78.65 percent voted against the county issue and 81.49 percent voted against the 911 issue.
Monett voters were not alone in their opposition of the county sales taxes. Voters living in 12 of the county's 18 jurisdictions voted against both issues. Only voters who live in the City of Cassville, Crane Creek, Golden, Ozark, Roaring River and Shell Knob precincts supported the taxes. Over 55 percent of absentee voters also supported both issues.
In all, the ballot issues produced a voter turnout of just under 21 percent.
The law enforcement tax, which was placed on the ballot by the Barry County Commission, was expected to generate about $650,000 in additional revenue for the county. County commissioners said the money would be used to provide additional funding for the prosecuting attorney's office and the sheriff's department.
The one-eighth of a cent emergency services sales tax was projected to produce $425,000 to $450,000 a year, which would have given the Barry County Emergency Services Board an annual budget of around $1.3 million to operate the Barry County E-911 Center.