CALDWELL, Texas — A proposition on this weekend’s ballot for Burleson County residents could bring in approximately $2 million in annual revenue for the county.
Proposition A would raise the sales tax by 1.5 percent for unincorporated areas of the county – areas outside of Caldwell, Somerville, and Snook city limits.
Burleson County Judge Keith Schroeder explained that county leaders introduced this proposition with the hopes of offsetting any need for raising property taxes, as the county’s expenses rise over time.
“The state sends down mandates to the county, and many of those mandates are not funded," Schroeder said. "... There are also some areas I feel we’re insufficient in; in services such as road and bridge, and in law enforcement.”
Schroeder said that customers in cities such as Caldwell already pay the maximum sales tax allowed by the state – just over eight percent. Unincorporated areas have been paying less for years, however - a little over six percent, Schroeder said. This proposition's 1.5 percent tax hike will bring rural areas’ sales tax rates to equal those already seen in the cities.
“We wanted to make sure that nobody is using a competitive advantage of the sales tax level, to where it was going to hurt businesses," the judge said. "And we reached out to several [businesses], but we weren’t able to find any that it really affected.”
Schroeder said this proposition would mostly impact businesses such as gas stations, where the taxed customer base would consist of travelers from out of the county. However, the tax could affect some online purchases for rural residents making an order to be delivered to their homes.
“I see the merit in having it match everyone else's [tax rate], but I don’t think it’s going to do much," said Joshua Prigmore, a resident of the unincorporated community of Gus. Prigmore feels his family would be happy to hear their property taxes wouldn’t be rising but said he would prefer any money taken from rural residents to be used not just for city residents.
“As long as it goes towards important things, like fixing our really crappy roads that need to be paved, at least," he commented.
Voting will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday. To view Saturday's ballot, visit the following link:
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