ECISD Board Approves Small Tax Hike

Staff Report
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - Emotions were running high on Wednesday night as the ECISD Board looked to adopt a new tax rate and budget.

Lots of taxpayers say they're already hard pressed in this tough economy.

The Administration recommended that the board either keep the current tax rate or increase it more than a penny.

They ended up going for a third option that sets the increase at less than a penny or .06 cents and it passed.

An average Ector County homeowner in a $69,000 dollar home will see a slight increase in their taxes.

School officials say the district has been suffering because the County's mineral values are way down this year, but taxpayers are frustrated and say they need a break.

"They've had enough.  I mean you can only rob us so much and after a while we just get tired of it.  We take it in little bitty pieces at a time and then all of a sudden it all adds up and enough is enough," Odessa Resident, Robert Fowler, said.

"I feel for them and my heart goes out to them, but I believe overall, we came up with something that's very workable," ECISD Superintendent, Hector Mendez, said.

Mendez told the crowd the slight increase is the only way his team can keep from cutting jobs in the district.

Last year, the board had to dip into its fund balance just to make up for a shortfall.

Officials also say a slight increase now will hopefully offset the need for others in the future.