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City of Palestine to hold town hall meetings


Staff Reports

PALESTINE – Voters in the City of Palestine will have an opportunity to decide where the city’s sales tax is spent when they vote in the upcoming May 6 election, so the city is hosting three town hall meetings to discuss the proposed new division of funds.

On Feb 27, the Palestine City Council voted to call for the special election to allow citizens the opportunity to redirect some of the sales tax revenue into maintenance and construction of city roads.

If approved, Proposition 1 would dedicate .125 percent, or roughly one-eighth, of sales tax revenue from the city to road construction and maintenance for four years.

Figures from the state comptrollers office show the current sales tax rate in the city as 8.25 percent. The monies are allocated into three areas. The state receives 6.25 percent, the County receives .5 percent and the City of Palestine receives the remaining 1.5 percent.

Property taxes could rise if the proposition is passed. Of the city’s 1.5 percent share of the  sales tax, currently .25 percent is set aside for property tax relief, 1 percent funds city government and .25 funds economic development.

At the upcoming meetings, residents will learn more in-depth information on sales tax and how it is used in Palestine and have the opportunity to ask questions to city staff and city council members..

The first listening session in the series will be at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 30 at Palestine City Hall, 504 N. Queen St. in Palestine.

For the March meeting, the city will simultaneously host a virtual town hall meeting. Residents will be able to submit questions via Facebook and receive answers in real time via streaming video.

The second and third sessions will be on April 13 at Palestine ISD Central Office, 1007 E. Park Ave. in Palestine and on April 20 at the Westwood ISD Fine Arts Building at Westwood High School, 1820 Panther Boulevard in Palestine.

All three sessions will begin at 6 p.m. and all three will be streamed via internet, according to Nate Smith, Communications and Best Practices officer.