by Carla Noah Stutsman
Ray Ivey, Steve Parker, and Nate Simmons have been making the rounds – Rotary, Optimist Club, Azle Chamber of Commerce and just about anyone else who will listen – touting all the reasons why voters who live in the Tarrant County portion of the city of Azle should vote for a proposed Municipal Development in Saturday’s election.
Representing the Economic Development Council (EDC) of the Azle Area Chamber of Commerce, the trio encouraged Azle voters to vote “YES” on for the proposition.
According to Ivey, who spoke Monday evening, May 6 to members of a homeowners association, the MDD, if approved, would impose a one half of one percent sales and use tax that would generate an estimated $285,000 annually.
That money could be used to prepare infrastructure to attract commercial businesses to the Tarrant County area of Azle and to finance development projects beneficial to the district.
Ivey said because anyone who purchases taxable goods or services within the proposed district would pay the sales and use tax – including those who live across the Tarrant Parker line, for example, as well as those who do not live in Azle but come here to shop – Azle taxpayers would receive substantial help in building the funds to help with future development.
The MDD works a lot like Azle’s Crime Control and Prevention District, Ivey said.
The tax is collected from everyone who makes a purchase, regardless of where they live. So those who live within the proposed district are not the only ones paying the tax.
In fact, they’ll be in the minority, with more than 60 percent of tax revenue coming from people who live outside the district.
Ivey further explained that while the Parker County side of Azle is already at the state-mandated maximum rate for sales and use tax of 8.25 percent, the rate on the Tarrant County side of Azle is just 7.75 percent. That leaves 0.50 percent available for most any taxing authority try to get.
“By choosing the MDD, we’re taking control of our own future, right here in Azle, instead of waiting for another taxing authority to collect that tax in the future,” Ivey said. “The proposed tax equates to 50 cents for every $100 an individual might spend that is subject to sales tax.”
He noted examples of the types of projects the district could fund: water and sewer service, assisting storm water drainage projects, or offering low cost land or buildings.