“Give us a chance to vote,” was the plea of Hopkins County Judge Robert Newsom as he addressed the Texas State Senate Finance Committee Tuesday morning in Austin. Senate Bill 1158, which allows voters in Hopkins County to cast ballots related to an increase in sales tax or continue with the 7-cent increase in property tax that will fund construction of the new jail presently under construction.
District Senator Bob Hall introduced SB1158 Tuesday as he told the Finance Committee that after 22 meetings in Hopkins County between commissioner’s court and the public it was the desire of most of the citizens for a sales tax increase to be implemented. Voters in Hopkins County did approve a 7-cent per $100 evaluation tax increase to fund the jail a new jail in the county last year.
Following Hall, County Commissioners Danny Evans, Beth Wisenbaker, and Wade Bartley, along with County Judge Newsom addressed the committee stating that as land owners, commissioners, and business people, they thought the citizens of the county should be given the opportunity to vote for or against an increase in sales tax.
Opposing the bill, John Kennedy, with the Texas Tax Payers Research Association, said that SB1158 is not a local issue but a state issue. Since 1987, counties could impose sales tax and Kennedy said that currently 123 counties utilize the sales tax option. He thinks that should the county be given the right to vote, then it would take the sales tax out of the hand of the state and put it in the hands of local government only.
Commissioner Precinct 1 Beth Wisenbaker addresses Texas Senate Finance Committee regarding SB1158: https://www.youtube.com/watch?
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