ECTOR COUNTY, TX (KWES) - A sales tax rate proposed by Ector County officials is expected to provide better county resources and lower property taxes.
"We're underfunded, this solves that problem," said Ector County Judge Ron Eckert. "We have a lot of people in the county who don't own property but are using our infrastructure. When they buy taxable items, they're contributing to our local government."
Right now, the hospital district collects .75 per dollar. With the proposed sales tax, Ector County will take another 1.25 cents per dollar.
"If you spend a total of $500 within the whole year within the zone, we're talking about an additional $6.25 out of your pocket," Eckert said.
Officials say the sales tax can be used for anything in the county from fixing roads, funding libraries, to providing more law enforcement services.
"There is some patrol but it's limited by numbers," said Eckert. "They have to cover the entire Ector County with what little staff they have."
The sales tax will allow more deputies to patrol areas in the county like Gardendale, West Odessa or Pleasant Farms.
"It's ridiculous, the response time for them to get to where we're at," said Pleasant Farms resident Juan Torres. "When you call them for a response, it takes them 30 to 45 minutes to get there. Sometimes we have to scare the person out there trying to come in. My brother carries a gun on him."
Commissioners will vote on the proposed sales tax at the commissioner's court meeting on Monday. If commissioners approve it, an election will be held in November for residents to vote whether they want the sales tax or not.
"That's good they're saying they're going to raise the taxes but people want to know if they're going to use it for good use, or if blow it on something that's not good for them," said Torres. "If it's for talk, I don't think so."
Eckert said he is willing to meet with any residents to discuss any questions or concerns regarding the sales tax. He can be reached at his office at (432) 498-4900.