Candidates Talk 911 Tax at Final Forum

Related Story

COLUMBIA - In their final forum, candidates for Columbia's next mayor and two city council seats took on several topics including the 911 sales tax that will be on the ballot on Tuesday. While the incumbent council members and and mayor say they are in favor of the sales tax proposal, their challengers aren't sold on the proposal.

Incumbent Mayor Bob McDavid says the 911 call center needs to be funded better and thinks the sales tax proposal is a good idea because the system would be held accountable.

"Putting it into one organization that is accountable to an elected official - in this case the county commissioner or the sheriff - is a good thing," said McDavid.

But his challenger, Sid Sullivan is against the proposal because he says it will put too much of a burden on low-income residents.

"The sales tax hits the poorest people the hardest because they're the ones that spend their entire income," said Sullivan. "They're the ones that are going to be paying for this."

The proposed 3/8 cent county-wide sales tax would fund almost $20 million to improvements to the 911 center including a new building and new equipment.