Employees of Pryor Creek, Oklahoma Face Mass Layoffs

Businesswoman Reading Layoff Notice
iStock.com/AndreyPopov

City of Pryor Creek to Lay Off Workers if Sales Tax not Approved

The City of Pryor Creek, which is in Oklahoma’s Mayes County, is expected to lay off employees if it fails to bring in a municipal sales tax.

The city has sent out a notice to all city employees, saying that significant layoffs are possible if the city’s residents vote against its proposed sales tax.

Voters will decide whether the city should put into effect a $0.0025 sales tax on every dollar spent in the municipality. Essentially, the government is proposing to impose a sales tax of $0.25 on every $100.00 spent in the city.

The revenue raised from the sales tax would go toward the city’s police and fire departments, library, courts, and community development programs, as well as toward maintaining its parks, cemetery, and city hall. In the absence of these additional funds, the city will have no choice but to cut back on spending.

According to City Councilor Travis Noland, the city will have to resort to budget cuts if the sales tax is not approved. “The reality is we have to cut $265,000 out of the budget. If the sales tax is approved, that certainly changes the game,” said Noland.

He added that the city has managed to stagger on for years without this tax, but that, with the state facing a budget shortfall, things seem to be getting worse. “For 30 years they’ve managed to push forward,” said Noland. “But now with the state of everything related to sales tax statewide, we’re starting to feel those effects here.”

It has not yet been confirmed how many employees will be facing the layoffs. The notice, sent out to city employees, states that the city would “make every effort to find a way to minimize or perhaps avoid the necessity of the impending layoffs.”

Noland has warned, however, that “a lot would change” during this period until the city is makes the final decision.

The city will be voting on the proposed sales tax on August 8. If the sales tax is approved by the majority, it will go into effect in October.

Source

City of Pryor Considers Layoffs As Sales Tax Vote Nears,” News On 6, July 23, 2017.

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