Escambia County voters today resoundingly rejected a proposed half-percent sales tax increase to fund basic medical care and checkups for thousands of uninsured county residents.

About 10 precincts have yet to report, but the referendum is all but decided with nearly 65 percent of voters saying no to the proposal.

"Obviously, there are a lot of people out there concerned about tax issues," said David Sjoberg, a Baptist Health Care executive who helped promote the tax plan. "There are a lot of people legitimately concerned about taxes."

It's the second time in less than three years the tax proposal failed at the polls.

The previous time occurred in November 2004, when the outcome was 55 percent opposed to the tax and 45 percent who favored the tax.