Renewal of Crawford County’s 1-cent sales tax was passed easily by voters during Tuesday’s special election.
More than 77 percent of voters approved renewing the tax, according to the unofficial but final tally provided by the Crawford County Clerk’s Office.
Including absentee ballots, a total of 2,113 people voted in favor of the renewal, while 618 - about 22 percent - voted against, with all 43 precincts reporting.
Only about 9 percent of the 31,122 of the county’s registered voters cast a ballot in the special election.
Crawford County’s 1-cent sales tax has been in place for 16 years and now will extend another eight years until Sept. 1, 2023. It was set to end Aug. 30.
Crawford County collected nearly $6.4 million in tax revenue in 2014, with 45 percent - about $2.88 million - going to county services, said Treasurer Beverly Pyle.
Revenue from the tax is broken out per capita for every city in the county, and the unincorporated areas, which make up the county’s percentage.
Van Buren depends on the 36.79 percent of the tax it receives, which totalled about $2,345,000 in 2014, said Van Buren Mayor Bob Freeman. Rural towns without their own city tax, such as Cedarville, Rudy and Chester, also rely on the county tax.
Crawford County Road Department receives 45 percent of the county’s tax portion after 5 percent is put in a reserve fund. Another 40 percent goes to Public Safety, and 15 percent goes to the General Revenue Fund.
A road department budget of the tax monies provided by Hall’s office shows that a majority of its total $1.2 million portion goes for road maintenance. Another $60,000 will be tied up in a construction project this year.
Public Safety will get nearly $1.1 million this year, distributed between the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department, the Department of Emergency Management, and rural fire departments.