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Survey: How do you feel about the 2% lodging tax that was passed in 2022?

In November 2022, the voters of McCurtain County voted overwhelmingly to pass a 2% lodging tax to fund the building of a new hospital. In fact, the vote passed by over 65% and passed in all 30 precincts in the county.

Two months later, incorporators of the newly formed town of Hochatown filed a lawsuit to halt the tax. In their suit, they claimed that the county failed to follow procedural requirements related to the ballot, such as publishing it for four consecutive weeks in a local newspaper.

The case was filed in district court in McCurtain County. Soon after, Judge Emily Maxwell ruled against Hochatown and found the vote was valid. They've since appealed and the case is now before the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

The incorporators of Hochatown have attempted to steal this vote from residents and in doing so, has placed the future of health care in jeopardy. They've had trouble keeping a name on the lawsuit and the real opposers to the vote have lacked the courage to place their own name on the lawsuit.

At the original filing, they used a man who was not a resident of McCurtain County. He quickly moved to have his name removed and was replaced by a Texan who owns cabins in Hochatown. That gentleman appeared at only one proceeding all last year and only did so because he was subpoenaed.

Hochatown was approved by the county to incorporate and held its own elections last year to do so. Shortly after incorporation, passed its own lodging tax. They now argue, at least publicly, whether the 2% lodging tax passed in November 2022 can legally apply to them now that they've passed their own as state law prohibits stacking a lodging tax onto an incorporated towns existing lodging tax.

A ruling by the Supreme Court could take two years. The town of Hochatown continues to push the goal post further and further away with legal filings intended to delay. And, even if a ruling came down tomorrow, the towns mayor commented in September, "I have four other lawsuits I could file if this one is not successful."

What do you think? Take a moment to take our short survey. You can share the link and the QR code easily.

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