Dispatch tax goes to voters

QCS Staff

Quay County voters will decide on Sept. 16 whether to enact a 0.12-percent gross receipts tax to fund an independent county area emergency communications system to replace the current system managed day-to-day by the city of Tucumcari.

The county commission voted Monday to approve the measure and the election.

In addition, the commission gave final approval that gives the county the authority to ban controlled burning and fireworks if conditions warrant such restrictions. County Fire Marshal Don Adams made the request.

Adams said the restrictions would probably be enacted only in the case of red flag warnings issues by the National Weather Service, when wind and heat are high and the humidity is low. Even on those days, Adams said, some burning would be allowed, as long as fire officials are notified and the burn is well-monitored.

Both votes followed public hearings at which no one objected to either measure.

The current emergency communications system receives oversight from an emergency communications board appointed from the city, the county and other participating communities. City and county officials agree, however, the independent agency funded by a portion of gross receipts taxes would alleviate possible disputes about who funds and operates the system and for whose benefit.

County Manager Richard Primrose said the independent communications center would also be better able to attract and retain qualified dispatchers.

The gross receipts tax, he said, would be paid mostly by people who pass through the county on I-40 when they make purchases at county businesses.




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