A Peculiar recount

April 25, 2014 

It’s good to hear city leaders have helped drive a recount in the Peculiar gas tax that appeared on the ballot April 8.

It’s hard to say the ballot measure failed, though. With more than 66 percent voting yes, the efforts to pass this tax and generate needed street money to the city should be looked at as a victory.

But the super-majority threshold, 66.67 percent, tells another story.

Only a handful of votes would have made the difference in this election. And with talks of voter machine issues and such a slim margin needed, county officials are doing the right thing by agreeing to the recount.

City leaders should be commended for getting an increase in "yes" votes every time this has appeared on the ballot. Unfortunately, that seems like it has been too many times.

Sure, it’s a tax. But it seems to be a much-needed revenue stream for the town of less than 5,000.

And with many people that travel through Peculiar footing a large portion of the bill, it only makes sense to fight hard for this one.

Support for the tax has jumped from 44 percent in 2009 to 57 percent in 2010 to 60 percent in 2012.

And while the annual numbers are only an estimate – city leaders say the 1-cent tax could generate $100,000 a year – you better believe it is in their best interest to be honest about those numbers. You have to be when you’re selling a tax to voters.

The city has millions and millions of dollars on a streets "to-do" list. Passing this tax would have helped to chip away at those projects.

Even if a recount doesn’t net them the handful of switched votes they need to wipe away the slim half of a percentage point they need, it sounds like the city is ready to go back to the ballot again this year to get the approval they know is needed.

Here’s hoping the fourth (or fifth) time will be a charm.

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