In an ultimate case of every vote counts, Buckner citizens tied with their votes for a proposed 1 percent sales tax increase and failed to pass it.
Both yes and no votes tallied 145, according to unofficial results Tuesday from the Jackson Board Election Board. Director Tammy Brown said the board will likely do a hand recount and double-check each ballot after the results are certified Nov. 14, allowing for any possible outstanding military ballots.
City leaders anticipated the tax increase could raise an $200,000 in annual revenue, more than 20 percent of the city's current budget. More than two-thirds of that budget goes to the police department, which has dealt with hiring and retention issues.
“It's a tie, so we have to respect the voters' wishes and make existing revenues go further and still provide the same service,” Buckner Mayor Darrel Box said. “A lot of us have our terms up in April, so it gives the next group a baseline of what to deal with.”
Box said future administrators could try again, given how close this vote was, but Buckner hasn't approved a tax increase in since the 1970s, he said.
“It's disappointing,” Box said. “I think we've been good stewards and demonstrated a need for funds.”