Midlanders Plan to Fight Tax Rate Increase

By: Cierra Putman
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - It's a proposal that's getting people fired up in Midland. The city is considering a 5% tax rate increase.

On Tuesday, the City of Midland giving everyone a chance to sound off on the issue during a public hearing. But things started to get heated Monday night when the Midland TEA Party met up and decided they're going keep fighting the proposed tax rate increase.

With new allies joining them, the group says they plan to make sure the city council sees things their way after.

"Across the board almost all Midlanders are against the tax increase," Mike Lopez with the Midland TEA Party, said. "The reason why is because of the economic depression the federal government just issued an economic forecast last week that said there was a downgrade in the economy. Which means, the economy probably won't be back in the next year or so. We're all in trouble and raising taxes is not the Republican or Conservative way to do business."

Lopez says that's why it's not just TEA Partiers against Midland's proposed tax increase.

"I can't raise my income and snap my fingers or go to my boss or who I used to work for and ask for a raise," Howard Farr with West Texas 9/12 Project, said. "We all want a lot of things. I know I'd like to have a better car. I'd like to have a better car, I'd like to have a lot of things but I can't afford it. So, I have to budget my money."

After years with few tax increases, the City and some council members tell NewsWest 9 they need the 5 percent tax increase to maintain Midland's standard of living.

Here's how it could affect you.

If you own a $100,000 home, you're paying about $450 in taxes. If approved, the tax increase would add an extra $16.00.

Lopez says any tax is too much.

He and others plan to tell city council members that Tuesday.

"The first couple of city council meetings when this was announced on the radio, there was maybe 5, then 10 people at the next week, 20-30 people it keeps growing," Lopez said. "Everybody needs to show up because this is an issue that affects you most importantly."

The Midland City Council will host a public hearing on the issue on Tuesday morning at 8:30.

Here's the catch, if enough people show up they could call a recess and reconvene the meeting in the evening.