Jackson County Commissioner Mike Sisk, who serves District 4 and will face Kevin McBride in the March 3 Republican Primary, sent out an email to local media this week saying he has taken a stand on the issue of home rule and a potential revival of a one-cent sales tax proposal.
“I’m not a tax man,” said Sisk. “We were elected to represent the people. I believe any tax must have approval of the citizens of Jackson County. I am absolutely opposed to home rule.”
Sisk said around 60% of Jackson County voters rejected a proposed one-cent sales tax increase a few years ago. He added that the idea of a renewed push for the sales tax increase, via home rule, has circulated among county leaders.
“Before a tax is proposed, the commission must earn the trust of the people,” said Sisk. “We ought to lay out specifically what we’ll do with their hard earned tax dollars.”
Jackson County Commission Chairman Tim Guffey said that has been done with resolutions to the Jackson County Legislative Delegation.
Guffey said one resolution for a one-cent sales tax increase included the first $450,000 going to senior services followed by 75% for roads and bridges, 12.5% for the county jail and sheriff’s office and 12.5% for county buildings and maintenance.
The legislative delegation must give approval to the commission for any tax proposal to be placed on a ballot. Sisk said if the commission is granted home rule, the approval process from the delegation is bypassed.
He added that tension exists between the two government entities and said there must be cohesion.
“I have a great working relationship with our legislators,” said Sisk. “We’ve all got to work together in order to find solutions to our budget issues. I’ve had positive conversations with our delegation, and I’m hopeful that will continue. At the end of the day, we’re beholden to the people. It’s the people’s money, not ours.”
“If [Sisk] wants us to stay with infrastructure falling apart, his idea will work,” said Guffey. “It’s ok to oppose something, but you need to have an answer. He’s not come up with one idea.”