Road tax proposal soundly defeated
Polk County Enterprise, May 2007
LIVINGSTON – With the subtlety of a steamroller, Polk County voters Saturday let their feelings be known concerning a proposed 5-cent road tax, with over 75 percent of voters opposing the measure.
It was clear as unofficial results of early voting came in that the proposal was likely racing toward a dead end. Among early voters, 309 supported the tax and 953 did not.
When final votes were tallied by the Polk County Clerk’s Office, unofficial results showed the proposal being defeated by a vote of 535 “for” to 1,624 “against.”
Had the measure passed, the county would have implemented a tax of 5 cents per $100 of assessed property value, with the funds earmarked only for improvement of county roads. County officials had estimated the tax would generate $975,000 per year, enough to rebuild approximately 12 miles of county roads annually.
A total of 15.93 percent of eligible Polk County voters cast ballots in the election.
The proposed road tax failed to pass in any of the 20 voting precincts in the county, although in the two boxes with the lowest number of voters, the Alabama-Coushatta Indian Reservation and Big Sandy, the vote was evenly divided.
Following are unofficial box-by-box results of the road tax election:
Box 1 (Segno) – 10 for, 19 against
Box 2 (Ace) – 5 for, 25 against
Box 3 (Goodrich) – 21 for, 80 against
Box 4 (Trinity Lutheran, Livingston) – 40 for, 95 against
Box 5 (Scenic Loop) – 72 for, 202 against
Box 6 (Onalaska) – 129 for, 324 against
Box 7 (Livingston City Hall) -- 47 for, 94 against
Box 8 (Leggett) – 7 for, 39 against
Box 9 (Moscow) – 2 for, 36 against
Box 10 (Corrigan) – 20 for, 88 against
Box 11 (Barnum) – 7 for, 13 against
Box 12 (Indian Reservation) – 7 for, 7 against
Box 13 (Big Sandy) – 2 for, 2 against
Box 14 (Indian Springs) – 18 for, 80 against
Box 15 (Schwab City) – 17 for, 59 against
Box 16 (Livingston VFW) – 61 for, 278 against
Box 17 (Blanchard) – 13 for, 57 against
Box 18 (Dunbar) – 1 for, 13 against
Box 19 (Escapees Activity Center) – 48 for, 75 against
Box 20 (Escapees Care Center) – 8 for, 38 against
Polk Countians echoed statewide sentiment when it came to approving a constitutional amendment to provide school tax relief to elderly or disabled taxpayers.
The amendment passed statewide with 88.80 percent of the voters supporting the proposal.
Polk Countians approved the amendment by a vote of 1,880 (86.92 percent) “for” and 283 (13.08 percent) “against.”
The amendment is primarily a corrective measure. When the 79th Legislature passed school property tax cuts in their third called session in 2006, those elderly and disabled Texans whose school property taxes were already frozen did not receive a corresponding reduction in their school property taxes. Therefore, in order for elderly and disabled Texans to receive a proportional reduction in school property taxes, there had to be an allowance for such a reduction in the Texas Constitution and a statutory change in law.
The constitutional amendment approved Saturday will provide such a reduction for the 2006 and 2007 tax years.