Council approves special election for renewal of 1% sales tax

The Winslow City Council approved by resolution a special election on May 16, asking voters to extend a special one percent sales tax for an additional five year period last week.

It was noted that the tax has been ongoing for 25 years, and if approved this will be its sixth renewal. Winslow voters approved collection of the tax in 1995, and again renewed it in 2001.

Approximately 25 percent of the tax benefits the Winslow Memorial Hospital, and since July 2001, has provided $1.4 million in funding to the hospital.

In a letter to Mayor Allan Affeldt, Chief Executive Officer Jeff Hamblen explained that although the hospital's financial situation had improved, the loss of the funding would hurt the hospital.

"As you know the hospital's financial condition was severely challenged during the five years since this tax was last affirmed by the community," he wrote. "Without these revenues the hospital would have surely failed."

Affeldt said he felt the hospital should have some accountability to the citizens voting on the measure. He asked if the city could require the hospital to submit quarterly reports.

City Administrator Jim Ferguson noted that they could, but he felt WMH would be more than willing to give the report.

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