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Stockdale council contemplates sales-tax increase
Stockdale City Secretary Thania Santos administers the oath of office to (from left) councilmen District III Scott Soden and District V Roger Armstrong, as Mayor Johnny Stahl (seated) reviews his notes during the June 5 Stockdale City Council meeting.
STOCKDALE -- With the tight economy across the nation, Stockdale also is feeling the pinch. The members of the Stockdale City Council explored the option June 5 to increase the city’s sales-tax rate and use the revenue to supplement its street improvement funds.
Stockdale City Manager Banks Akin suggested an increase to the city’s sales and use tax, due to the ever-increasing local sales proceeds; this is partially due to those involved with the Eagle Ford shale exploration in South Texas. During the meeting, Akin reported that the city received at least $12,000 in sales-tax proceeds each month this year, with $20,000 in May.
In comparison, the city only received $8,000 per month in 2010. As reported in a May 5 Wilson County News article, Stockdale has seen a steady increase since 2010, realizing $11,000 per month in 2011.
At the present time, Stockdale’s rate is 7.75 percent.
Texas law allows a 0.25-percent increase in the sales-tax rate. Akin said the income could be used only for maintenance of existing roads, not for new road construction or to decrease the ad valorem tax rate.
Voters must approve any increase. If approved, anticipated revenue will amount to $30,000 to $35,000 annually, Akin said.
“I can support the idea,” Mayor Johnny Stahl said. “We have gravel streets and streets in need of repair.”
The council took no action, other than to instruct Akin to continue the research to place this item on the November ballot.
In another Eagle Ford shale-related topic, the council heard from local contractor Sal Urrabazzo, regarding development of a subdivision within the Stockdale city limits. See article, page 1A.
In other business, Wayne Beyer presented Stockdale’s fiscal year 2010-11 city audit. Among his comments was a reference to the engineering costs accumulated by the city last year. This was due to infrastructure development within the Stockdale Industrial Park in late 2010, for the relocation of ICP Industries from San Antonio.
Beyer also reported that the city has no debt, the water and general funds are listed as “good financially,” and the sewage and gas accounts are “lagging behind,” with a deficit trend being noted, he said.
Beyer commended City Secretary Thania Santos for her work as the city’s bookkeeper.
In other actions, the council:
•Reappointed Roger Armstrong to fill the Place V seat for a two-year term, since no one filed. Armstrong was first appointed to this position in June 2010. He did not refile for this seat, since initially he thought his employment would not allow him to serve his constituents.
•Approved a Fourth of July safe zone, with two stipulations: that no county burn ban is in effect and if sufficient manpower is available to do so.
•Approved the closure of Jackson through Main streets from Second Street to Sixth Street Saturday, June 16, from 7-10 a.m. for the Stockdale Watermelon Crawl/Run event held in conjunction with the Watermelon Jubilee.
•Approved an amended zoning ordinance, including updated zoning regulations, which repeals prior conflicting ordinances. Prior to the meeting, a public hearing was held regarding the proposed regulatory and textual changes to the city’s planning and zoning procedures. No comments were received from the general public.
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