2 Butler County officials balk at tax hike to buy new emergency radios

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Don Dixon talks about huge communication equipment replacement.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Should taxpayers in Butler County have to foot a $19.2 million bill to upgrade emergency communications equipment that was purchased for $37 million just nine years ago?

In 2005, Butler County voters approved a temporary sales tax levy to upgrade the county’s communications system.

But now Motorola, the provider of Butler County’s equipment, doesn’t make the radios anymore and beginning in 2019 won’t service them.

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Some officials have suggested another temporary sales tax hike as the answer to paying for new radios and other emergency equipment.

At least two elected officials are against such an idea.

“I don’t think there is any appetite up here for talking about any sales tax at this time,” Commissioner Don Dixon told the Journal-News. “I think just saying that the sales tax is temporary, I’ve never seen such a thing as a temporary tax. It’s way too premature to go down that road.”

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Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones said he also opposes a temporary sales tax to foot the bill.

“Putting a sales tax on is not acceptable for me. I’ve talked to the commissioners and they’re not interested in it and nor is the sheriff,” Jones said. “I won’t support that and I believe the taxpayers have had enough.”

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