• October 15, 2019

County lays out plan for sales tax - Odessa American: Local News

e-Edition Subscribe

County lays out plan for sales tax

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Wednesday, October 9, 2019 4:10 pm

The Ector County Assistance District has added millions of dollars to the budget this fiscal year and the majority of funds are planned to go toward repairing county roads.

The October sales tax check from the state totaled more than $2.05 million for August collections, bringing total payments to about $9.69 million to date.

Before collection officially began in April, County Judge Debi Hays conservatively estimated the sales tax revenue could add between $12 million to $15 million annually to the county’s budget, or about $3 million each quarter. The county received more than $5.5 million during its first quarter for April, May and June collections and is trending upward for the next quarter.

Precinct 1 Commissioner Eddy Shelton said revenues have been better than expected and will make a significant impact on the county’s ability to handle issues intensified by the boom in the oil and gas industry. County officials expect at least 65,000 more people will move to the area by 2025 due to increased activity in the oil industry.

“West Odessa is one of the largest growing areas and the most needing of attention due to that,” Shelton said.

The local government code for county assistance districts states revenue generated can only be used within the boundaries it is collected in and has parameters for what items can be funded by the sales tax. Commissioners intend to focus on three areas deemed high priority by county residents during town halls last year.

The consensus among those living in the county was that more attention needed to be given to road repair, adding law enforcement personnel and combating illegal dumping.

County Auditor Randy Donner said in an email Tuesday that the sales tax budget would be divided between those three categories with 56% going to roads, 39% for law enforcement and 5% for illegal dumping.

“We’re behind on our roads because of the truck traffic and all of that is just tearing them up,” Shelton said.

The greatest share of the 585 miles of roadway in the county is in Precinct 1 and road wear is often attributed to the increased amount of heavy equipment using roadways that were built on specifications that cannot support that traffic.

“This is our way of getting those who are using all of our stuff to help pay for what they’re using,” he said. “These people may not pay property taxes, but they are buying stuff and are shopping so we’re getting monies from those people out there through their sales tax.”

Ector County Sheriff Mike Griffis said his department’s general fund will benefit with the new revenue stream. The 2019-20 adopted budget gave the Ector County Sheriff’s Office $9.49 million, up from $8.64 million last year.

Griffis said ECSO was awarded 14 more positions for law enforcement, 25 positions for the Ector County Detention Center and additional funding for patrol units and another animal control vehicle.

Commissioners also approved adding another investigator to the Ector County Environmental Enforcement unit earlier this month after raising the department’s budget by about $57,000 this fiscal year.

“That tax is going to make a difference and we couldn’t have done this without it no doubt,” Shelton said.

For the city of Odessa, the the October sales tax check was $5,925,411.51. This amount includes the Economic Development sales tax of ¼ cent. The City of Odessa will receive $4,740,329.21 and the Odessa Development Corporation will receive $1,185,082.30.

The City saw a decrease in sales tax revenue with October’s sales tax revenue total of $4,740,329.21, which reflects a $40,366.89 less, or 0.84% as compared to October 2018.

The year-to-date total sales tax revenue for fiscal year 2019-20 is up 57.78%, or $1,736,025.67 as compared to budgeted amount expected at this point in the fiscal year.

The City has budgeted $41,100,000.00 in net sales tax revenues for this current fiscal year.

Sales tax revenue is generated by sales tax revenue from two months prior to collection, i.e., October’s collection is based on August sales.

Odessa, TX

Current Conditions

Sunny
84°
Humidity: 33%
Winds: WNW at 7mph
Feels Like: 84°

Your Extended Forecast

Tomorrow

weather
High 86°/Low 49°
Mix of sun and clouds. Highs in the mid 80s and lows in the upper 40s.

wednesday

weather
High 74°/Low 50°
Sunny. Highs in the mid 70s and lows in the low 50s.

thursday

weather
High 79°/Low 55°
Abundant sunshine. Highs in the upper 70s and lows in the mid 50s.
Online Features

Pet Central

pets

Having a pet is a lot of responsibility, and we’ll help by giving you lots of tips and tricks! More >>

Fitness

Fitness

Our fitness articles will help teach you how to work out with gym- and home-based exercises. More >>

Crosswords

Crosswords

Enjoy the crosswords challenge in our free daily puzzles, from the harder Sunday crossword to the quicker daily. More >>

Sudoku

Sudoku

Every Sudoku has a unique solution that can be reached logically. Enter numbers into the blank spaces so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9. More >>




  • ALL-ACCESS: Subscribe to our e-edition and premium website at myoaoa.com.
    You can read your daily newspaper without taking a walk to the driveway.
    Look back at yesterday's newspaper, or issues from months ago with our archive feature.
    Call circulation at 432-337-7314 to sign up today.