Midlanders speak out against 4b sales tax

Midlanders speak out against 4b sales tax

MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - The 4b sales tax was once again the hot topic at this Tuesday morning's city council meeting in midland. This time many spoke out against it. One man even called the city council "dishonest."

"There's no substitute for honesty," said Midlander Tom Flournoy. "I think the last time I was here I called every one of you dishonest."

Flournoy was one of the five who spoke out against the 4b sales tax.

"They forced me to pay a tax and pay for something that I'll never use," said Flournoy.

Tuesday's public hearing focused on the possible park renovations if the tax passes. Hogan Park, Beal Park and Reyes Mashburn Park are all on the list, totaling over $77 million in renovations.

Kinsey Holder lives near Beal Park, she said she didn't know anything about the 4b tax but after doing her research she's not impressed.

"Parks are going to get destroyed no matter what you do," said Holder. "Let's not put too much into the budget for something that children will just tear up anyway."

Holder said as a young adult a tax like the 4b puts a burden on her starting a life of her own.

"We're already drowning in lack of money. So to add more to taxes to come out of anything, it does hurt," said Holder. " I feel like the wealthy stay wealthy and the lower and not so fortunate classes of people just stay put."

The City of Midland said they value the opinions of the tax payers and feel strongly about the need for new parks.

"It's the places where our children need more infrastructure," said Mayor Pro Tem, Sharla Hotchkiss. "We have grown and grown in Midland but we have not increased our parks. Our community is sadly lacking in playing fields for the children."

The 4b tax was first put into place by the City of Midland back in the 90's in order to pay for the construction of the Scharbauer Sports Complex. Originally, the debt was to be paid off by 2032.

With 25-cents collected for every $100 spent in Midland, the city was able refinance last decade then scheduling it to be paid off in 2022.

With the influx of taxpayers coming in from the oil boom the city was able to pay off the complex well ahead of schedule, this year.

Early voting for the special election begins on Monday April 24 and lasts until April 28. A second early voting session will be Monday May 1 through Tuesday May 2.

You can cast your early votes at the county annex building. Then the special election itself will be held on Saturday May 6 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

You can vote at any election day vote center.

Copyright 2017 KWES. All rights reserved.