ODESSA, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) – The City of Odessa and Ector county disputing over a sales tax issue the city council held a news conference on Wednesday to give the public an insight to where they stand.
Odessa Mayor David Turner and the city council said they have an issue with Ector County’s Assistance District that was voted on back in November of 2018. The resolution that was passed stated that all sales tax within the City of Odessa would not go to the county. But after sending the vote to Austin, the City of Odessa said the comptroller changed the language of the vote by stating all sales tax within the city would go directly to Ector County.
“The problem that causes for us is, we have people approach us and say we want to put a business in your city or in your county and annex it’s because we want water, we want sewer, we want police, we want trash.” Mayor Turner said. ” We do not have the money just on the advertorial taxes to be able to put in that sewer, put in that water and that will burden our taxpayers.”
Mayor Turner said the city has now taken legal action to try settle the issue.
“So what we did is we sent an Attorney General, ” Turner said. “We sent something to the Attorney General to say ‘ hey why did the comptroller put this in?’ And is it legal, because that’s not what the voters voted for.”
The City of Odessa said they are not asking to take any sales tax that has already been collected by Ector County, they only want to collect money from future businesses that are voluntarily annexed by Odessa. But Ector County Sheriff Mike Griffis said this will still have an impact on his department down the road.
“Onset it appears that they do want some of our money that they’re taking now,” Griffis said. ” And you know that money means a great deal to what we are doing right now, millions of dollars that are coming in is benefiting the Sheriff’s Office, employees of the Sheriff’s Office and there for the community.”
As for the City of Odessa they hope they can come to agreement on this issue with Ector County soon.
“We want to come together and work together as Ector County and get this problem solved,” Mayor Turner said.