Finney County residents vote to pass sales tax referendum in Aug. 3 election

Meghan Flynn
Garden City Telegram
Local residents exit and enter the Finney County Public Library Tuesday on primary election day.  The library is one of voting sites in the county. The sales tax referendum for Finney County passed in the election.

The referendum addressing the continuation of the Finney County ¼ percent sales tax passed in the Aug. 3 election. 

Unofficial results show 802 votes yes and 315 voted no.

Dori Munyan, Finney Court Clerk and Election Officer, said there are about 21 provisional ballots and some mail ballots, which can continue to come in between now and Friday, are uncounted, however, there are not enough between them to impact the outcome. 

There was about 5% voter turnout, or 1,100 voters, Munyan said. The last special election was in 2014 where about 1,400 voters participated.

This was Munyan's first special election, so she's not sure how typical the turnout is, but said it there were definitely fewer voters that in 2014.  

Matt Allen, City Manager of Garden City, said although voter turnout was low, the result is "consistent with how this community choses to finance core general services like public safety, roads, parks and (in the case of the City of Garden City) a unique public facility like Lee Richardson Zoo."

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"Since the 1990s, Finney County voters have approved ballot measures that shift the cost of the services and facilities more toward sales tax and away from property tax, which also capitalizes on our status as a regional center by sharing the cost with all who visit and shop from our multi-state trade area," he said. 

The 2021 general election will be on Nov. 2 and the ballot will include three Garden City Commissioner seats, three City of Holcomb City Council seats, two Drainage District No. 2 Board of Directors seats, three Garden City Community College Board of Trustees seats, three USD 102 Board of Education seats, one USD 363 Board of Education seat for member district 1/4, one USD 363 Board of Education seat for member district 2/5, one USD 363 Board of Education seat for member district 3/6, three USD 457 Board of Education seats and two West Plains Extension District No. 19 Governing Body member seats. 

More information on the Nov. 2 General Election can be found at finneycounty.org/819/2021-Election. 

Munyan said they are always looking for poll workers to work elections.