Bradford County Commission to vote on emergency surcharge

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STARKE, Fla. (WCJB) — The Bradford County Commission will vote on an emergency motion to add a surtax proposal to the November ballot.

Money from the proposed one-cent sales tax would go to fire emergency services. Fire Superintendent Allen Parrish said there is currently no dedicated funding for fire services in Bradford County.

“We’ve reached a point where if we don’t adopt some sort of funding source, we won’t be able to maintain the level of service that the county requires,” Parrish said.

It comes as the emergency services had to scale back one of their ambulances last month, due to budget constraints. Parrish adds that without adequate funding, the cuts could continue.

“Assess what you expect when you call 911,” Parrish said. “If you’re expecting a fire truck and an ambulance to arrive, you really need to consider voting on a funding source.”

While some Bradford County residents find value in every penny spent on safety improvements, others say this tax comes at a time when many are already financially overstretched.

“America is already starving and we are all already suffering together,” said Emily Crawford. “I don’t agree with that. I mean work within your budget, if times were better I’m all for it because they work hard but we work hard too.

“You always need to improve equipment and things like that, I think that would be great,” said Maria Matz. “I would vote yes.”

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Residents will be able to speak at the Monday meeting beginning at 9:30 a.m.

If the emergency ordinance passes, voters will ultimately make the final decision on Nov. 8 in the general election.

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