Howard County Voters to Decide On New Sales Tax

By Wyatt Goolsby
NewsWest 9

HOWARD COUNTY - Are Howard County taxpayers willing to shell out more money? They'll decide at the polls in November.  The county's asking them to help out, as they battle it out in court with the ALON Refinery.

Voters will decide if they're willing to pay for an additional sales tax. County officials told NewsWest 9 Wednesday if it does pass, that means it will be a big help to providing a lot of basic services.

"Of course, people, they use all the services. They use the roads, they use the Sheriff's Department, they use the fire department. Those are the things we've got it earmarked for,"  Howard County Judge Mark Barr, said.

Judge Barr said voters outside of Big Spring city limits will weigh-in on a half a penny increase.  Why the proposal?
Because Howard County is still in a legal battle about how much money the ALON-USA Rrefinery should have to pay.

"That really hurts us because we have to base our tax rate on those appraisal values," Barr explained. "And when they don't pay, then we have to make up the difference in an increase tax rate."

Officals hope to add at least an extra $200,000 with the increase.  However, because Big Spring is already at the highest tax rate, they can't go up any more. The bottom line, Barr said, leave it up to the voters.

While the City Councils in both Coahoma and Forsan have approved the measure to put the tax on the ballot, it will be all up to the voters. They'll have their say on November 4th.