South Fork voters approve sales tax increase

Photo courtesy of South Fork Town Clerk Melanie Hart The 2024 municipal election in South Fork was held on Tuesday, April 9. Preliminary results were announced just after 7 p.m. South Fork voters backed an increase to the town’s sales tax by 2 percent. Pictured are Town Administrator Hank Weber, left, Trustee Michele Cruze, front, election officials Laurie Bratton, front, Ashlee Bratton, back, and Jo Ann Morgan, front, and Mayor Tyler Schmidt, back.

SOUTH FORK — South Fork voters approved a measure that increased the town’s sales tax by 2 percent and in the trustee election, Kevin Stickens held a slim lead, based on preliminary results released by South Fork Town Clerk Melanie Hart. The municipal election was held Tuesday, April 9.

Stickens received 109 votes and was closely followed by Lisa Butcher with 107 votes and Susan Austin with 101 votes. These are preliminary results and will not be finalized until the election has been certified.

As for the tax increase ballot issue, the town voted in favor of the 2 percent increase — 102 yes and 62 no — bringing the town’s sales and use tax percent to 4 percent. The increase will be used to increase town staff and police department wages, infrastructure projects and other town improvements.

The town has been discussing the tax increase issue for several years looking for ways to increase revenue without having to introduce a property tax. The Town of South Fork was incorporated in the early 1990s and was done without including a property tax on homes and is one of few municipalities in the state that do not have a property tax.