Three Forks Voice - Connect With Your Community!

By Jack H. Smith
Three Forks Voice 

Voters approve Levy for Sheriff's Office


Broadwater County voters narrowly approved Tuesday a levy for 39.93 mills to fund approximately $700,000 for the Broadwater County Sheriff's Office.

1,398 voters were in favor of the levy and 1,329 voted against.

According to County Attorney Cory Swanson, the levy will be limited to five years, and the funds can only be used for the Sheriff's Office and Public Safety budget.

"Broadwater County is in the middle of two competing forces, which have created a funding crisis for the Sheriff's Office. First, as we all know, the County is growing rapidly, particularly on the northern end and the southern end. Those new homes bring people, and they bring people who rightly ask for more law enforcement services in their area. The problem is that residential property taxes don't provide enough revenue to keep up with the increased demand on services. The taxes always lag at least a year behind the population growth, and residential taxes do not bring in the revenue that industrial and commercial property taxes do. In other words, we are building ourselves into a need faster than we can keep up" he said.

Voters in Gallatin County approved two public safety mill levies. A search and rescue mill levy that will generate $706,000 was approved by a vote of 22,022, to 13,201. A $2.1 million increase for the 911 Dispatch was approved by a vote of 19,117 to 16,013.


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