The crowded November ballot just got more crowded. The newest addition: a Morgan County RAMP tax. Voters will have to decide whether or not a new sales tax should be assessed in order to fund recreation. The new tax would be one-tenth of one percent.
The Morgan County Council voted unanimously to proceed with placing the RAMP tax on the ballot with the help of the state. RAMP stands for recreation, arts, museum and parks. The council did not approve the tax, but rather, approved that the issue go to the voters via the ballot.
The Morgan County School Board has already told Morgan County and Morgan City that they will no longer help fund recreational offerings.
“The school board and city have been adamant about us exploring other ways to fund recreation,” Morgan County Councilman Robert Kilmer said.
Pulling fees from sales tax instead of property taxes or a special service district may be “easier to swallow,” Kilmer said. “It is a win-win, and not all on the backs of people who own property here. Anyone who shops here pays.”
Kilmer said the sales tax would generate about $100,000 annually, which is better than the current funding. The increase may be able to fund lacrosse and pickleball adult leagues, Kilmer suggested. Other future arts possibilities could include ceramics and guitar, Kilmer added.
In related news, the council also voted to add at least one pickleball court to the Kent Smith Memorial Park.
“We have found there is incredible interest in pickleball,” Kilmer said. One court could potentially cost up to $25,000. The council is looking into the new court could be paid for with impact fees.