Option County Jail Sales Tax Resolution Unanimous
On April 13, 2015, the Commissioners Court of Hopkins County, Texas endorsed S.B. 1158, a resolution that would provide Hopkins County Texas voters with the opportunity to determine whether to fund the county jail obligation through a local option sales tax, instead of property taxes. The resolution was passed with a vote of 5 to 0.
Back in November, 2013, Hopkins County approved general obligation bonds to fund the $16 million construction cost of the Hopkins County Jail. The payment of the principal and interest on the obligations required a property tax rate of $0.06 per 100 property valuation. Furthermore, the obligations fell solely on home owners and business owners of Hopkins County.
Therefore, a local option sales tax, approved by voters, will allow all who purchase goods and services to take part in the payment of the facility’s cost. S.B. 1158 specifically limits the proceeds from the sales tax to the payment of the county jail bonds, and the adoption of the local sales tax would result in an automatic reduction in the property tax. The resolution also ensures that the sales tax not exceed one-half cent per dollar in sales.
Once the county jail obligations have been paid off, the sales tax would be automatically abolished. Ultimately, the decision on whether or not to use the sales tax opportunity falls to Hopkins County voters, and the sales tax will be evenly spread out across all citizens.