Voters Approve Penny Tax in Van Buren

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Van Buren voters approved a penny sales tax increase Tuesday. Money from the tax will fund a new police department, fire department, senior center, and improve city parks.

Here are the unofficial results:

.50 Percent Sales and Use Tax

70% For

30% Against

Firefighting Sales and Use Tax

74% For

26% Against

Police Sales and Use Tax

72% For

28% Against

Park and Recreation Sales and Use Tax

70% For

30% Against

Senior Center Sales and Use Tax

70% For

30% Against

A crowd at the Crawford County Courthouse let out a cheer as the results came in.

Half of the money from the tax will go towards operating costs. Mayor Bob Freeman was pleased with the election results. “This is fantastic. This is more than what I expected. I felt fairly confident going into it, but this is really overwhelming,” said Freeman.

The city will begin collecting a portion of the tax starting in January. Freeman says construction on the new buildings will not begin until 2013. A portion of the tax will sunset in seven years.