MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

April 3, 2013

Cherokee County voters refuse property tax increase

Teague, Fore win seats as Hulbert town trustees

By Wendy Burton
Phoenix Staff Writer

BOYNTON — Cherokee County voters elected two at-large trustees in Hulbert and said no to a tax increase in Tuesday’s election.

Incumbent Shirley Teague and Kenneth Fore of Hulbert won at-large seats on the town’s Board of Trustees.

Teague, who has been on the board about eight years, took 64 votes, or 49.6 percent; and Fore took 48 votes or 37.2 percent. Incumbent Ed Beckham took 17 votes or 13.2 percent.

Teague said she looks forward to continuing the work the Board is already working on.

“We have things going on with the city parks, and we’ve got new businesses in town, and those are the things I want to see grow in our little town,” Teague said.

Fore said he hopes to bring youthful, new ideas to the Board.

“I’m excited — ready to get started,” Fore said.

More than 2,500 of 22,739 registered Cherokee County voters turned out to vote on a proposed property tax increase.

With 1,593 voters voting against and 1,067 voting for the proposition, the tax increase that would have helped the Cherokee County Health Department build or buy a new building was rejected by nearly 60 percent of voters.

The millage rate for Cherokee County would have increased an additional $11 per year for every $100,000 of assessed property value, officials said.

That money would have resulted in an additional $165,000 annually in funding for the health department.

The Cherokee County Health Department closed its building in October 2011 after a sewage backup left it unable to remain occupied.

The major repairs needed were too prohibitive, officials said, and some programs were unable to fully continue when the department moved to its present location.

Reach Wendy Burton at (918) 684-2926 or wburton@muskogeephoenix.com.