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Refugio proposes creation of county sales tax to promote economic growth

By JR Ortega
Oct. 27, 2013 at 5:27 a.m.
Updated Oct. 28, 2013 at 5:28 a.m.


Ready to hit the polls?

• WHAT: Early voting continues through Friday. WHERE: Elections Administration Office, 414 C. North Alamo St. in Refugio

• WHEN: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday

The unincorporated areas between the cities in Refugio County could soon have a new county sales tax.

Refugio County is proposing on its Nov. 5 ballot to create the Refugio County Assistance District No. 1, an operation that would impose a 2 percent sales and use tax for the purpose of driving economic development to the unincorporated areas of the county. This excludes the cities of Refugio, Woodsboro, Bayside and Austwell.

County Judge Rene Mascorro said, if passed, the imposed sales tax would add between $300,000 and $400,000 in revenue - revenue the county has never seen.

"We've never had anything like this," he said. "It's a great source of revenue, considering the number of taxable dollars going to the counties."

Mascorro does not know how voters will vote come Election Day but said aside from economic development, another driving force is that property owners may see some relief of their own.

Meanwhile, people who don't pay property taxes won't be affected - unless they make a purchase in the area.

Those who live and shop in the city will see no difference because the sales tax rate is already 8.25 percent, the state's cap.

Lenny Anzaldua, Refugio alderman Place 3, supports the idea because it brings in more money, and the economic development would trickle down to the cities.

Still, he said, there are a few in the city who don't support growth, so a couple of nays will be punched in come Election Day.

"People see the best and worst in everything," he said. "It just all depends on what affects them."

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