After months of waiting to see how many felt about the bond election in Wichita Falls, the results are now clear. All but one of seven propositions failing in the election. The one proposition that did pass was a $17.3 million plan to improve streets was Proposition C.
Steve Garrison, a political science associate professor at MSU, believes the reason that Proposition C passed because it is most likely because improving streets is something people are used to the government using tax dollars for. He said he was surprised the bond proposition for the downtown improvements did not pass and points out there could be a couple reasons it failed.
“I think for one, it may be just a rejection of using public money for these types of improvements,” Garrison said. “The other side of things, it was really promoted as attracting younger people or millennials. Those are demographics that tend to not own property. It may attract them, but it may not be the people who are wanting to fund it.”
Along with demographics, Wichita Falls Mayor Stephen Santellana said the propositions failing could have to do with voters not wanting to be taxed anymore.
“I think the majority right now weren’t ready for that big of a tax hike,” Santellana said. “For some people, their appetite for debt is there. They thought maybe that $77 million one or a couple of issues, I think it brought all of those votes down.”
Garrison also said it’s possible some of these proposals failed because of a misunderstanding. Some voters thought it was an all or nothing vote, not voting on each individual proposition.