Dear Fellow County Residents,
In case you have not heard, our elected county leaders, except one, voted to have a special election to increase our sales tax by .58 %. This will be the 3rd special election called over the past few years for the same purpose, to build a new jail. Let me go on record, I believe in and support the need for a new jail but in the same breath let me say that raising our sales tax to a level that when combined with the property tax we pay, by what I am told would cause us to have the HIGHEST combined tax in the state. Yes, you read it correctly, “HIGHEST IN THE ENTIRE STATE”. Raising our already high taxes is not the answer to funding the jail. There are alternatives to this “tax & spend” proposal that makes sense, update our current tax structure and would resolve the financial problem we find ourselves in. I am told that some of these alternatives have been discussed with the Quorum Court but they were ignored. We just cannot continue destroying our merchants while forcing residents to shop and yes, even move out of the county. Our population continues to decline and any tax increase could hasten this decline.
Can you even imagine a sales tax of 11.33%? Now some of you may say “Well I don’t buy that much in the county anyway so it won’t hurt me much” WRONG, if the voters approve this increase stop & consider that our sales tax will increase on our electric, gas, water, trash, telephone, cable/satelite tv, cell phone, & exterminator bills, plus vehicle parts/repairs, home repairs, HVAC repairs, dry cleaning, your Sonic drink, burgers, all other fast food or restaurant purchases. etc. etc.
Yes, the new jail will cost a lot of money but the PAIN of paying for it cannot come totally from the residents that are already overtaxed, the pain must be shared. The Pain must be shared around if we hope to allow our county to survive long enough to retire the Bonds. I encourage you to #1 = contact your JP or the County Judge and ask them why alternatives aren’t being pursued and you do not support this increase, #2= If this doesn’t cause them to change their current position, vote NO in August and then maybe common sense will take over and a way to pay for the new jail without killing our merchants and residents financially.
One closing point, please remember as people continue to move out of the county, our home values will go down. Also, the Bonds sold to build & operate the jail will probably be for 20-30 years, I fear if we continue to drive residents out of town to shop or live in another county, that our present income from sales and property tax will go down and the burden will naturally fall on us still living here to make up the difference. Our taxes will go up more & more while our home values decline.