Lincoln County Commissioners addressed two pivotal issues this week. Commissioners unanimously agreed to put a proposal to the November ballot on whether voters want the county to levy what amounts to a 3% sales tax on retail marijuana sales. It would apply to retail marijuana sales only in areas outside city limits – the unincorporated areas is the legal term. Commissioner Terry Thompson said such sales won’t bring the county any huge new infusion of tax revenues, yet the county will be responsible for increased sheriff’s patrols and writing citations, and making arrests, if they’re warranted.
If approved in November, the tax revenues will go directly into the county’s general fund meaning that current and future county commissioners can use those funds for a rather wide array of county projects and services although there appeared to be an acknowledgement that some of the tax revenue should go to the sheriff’s office for marijuana enforcement programs and/or drug rehabilitation. The vote to put the issue on the November ballot was unanimous.
In other commission action the council formally adopted a new set of laws that work to ensure that temporary vacation rentals don’t disturb their neighbors by causing overcrowding or messy streets from trash blowing around in the wind, loud music after hours, or having too many vacationers housed at one time.
Vacation home owners will have until December 1st to make sure all their permits are current and that they have enough LEGAL off street parking to accommodate large numbers of people. The new ordinance takes effect December 1st to allow enough time for VRD owners to learn about the new regulations and then fully comply with them. Owners’ names and contact phone numbers will be made available on the county’s website. Repeat violations are grounds for the owner(s) to lose their VRD license.
The commissioners also formally approved a rate hike of less than one-half percent for garbage collection by North Lincoln Sanitary for customers living outside city limits at the north end of the county.