Wichita Co. Commissioners Plan to Educate Tax Payers Before May Election

Local News

Wichita County Commissioners hope to ensure some voters are not confused by two issues on the ballot in May, that would mean paying more in taxes.         

The polling locations for election day were approved in Monday morning’s meeting. They’re also working to have all of the early polling locations they’ve had in the past even though the school district and city will not have elections.

But, for now their main concern is the decision voters make when they head out to those polling locations.

Since Wichita Falls and the WFISD moved their elections to November last year, turnout may not be what it once was for a May election.

And commissioners hope voters will still turn out, and will have enough polling places to make it convenient.

“So, there’s not a great deal of things that are going to draw people to come to the election, so we looked at the number of sites,” said Wichita County Judge Woody Gossom.

They hope to have the same early voting sites voters had in November, and previous May elections. Plus, the commissioners  hope that voters who live outside cities are not confused about seeing both a jail bond question, and a new tax question.

“Well I would hope not,” said Wichita County Commissioner Lee Harvey.

On the ballot in May, besides the jail bond, is a new 2-percent county assistance sales tax.

Harvey said voting no on the 2-cents per dollar sales tax collected in businesses outside city limits, would be like telling the IRS you don’t want your tax return.

“If you vote no for the county assistance district, that’s what you’re doing,” Harvey said. “We’re paying that money in and if we’ll just vote to bring it back we can pay lots of bill around here.”

The tax would bring a uniform rate of 8.25 percent throughout the county, not just in Wichita Falls.

“If you don’t live out in the county, it won’t be on your ballot,” said Harvey. “But the people in the county get to vote and it affects everybody.”

Harvey said the county will do more to educate homeowners before the May 6th election… And hopes the second time is the charm, after the same tax proposal was rejected two years ago.

County commissioners will also begin the process of selecting a citizens advisory committee for the $70 million jail construction project.

Including himself, Judge Gossom has asked the sheriff, and each of the commissioners to find two people each who are interested in serving on the committee.

Gossom said the committee’s job would be to inform the public of what they believe and either give their support for the jail or show the problems they have with it.

If you or someone you know is interested in serving on the committee, all you need to do is contact Sheriff David Duke or Judge Gossom.

If you would like more information on the jail bond, county commissioners are holding a public hearing, Monday April 10th at 6pm in the commissioners courtroom.

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