HOWARD COUNTY, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) – The oil industry has always been a driving force in the Permian Basin but with the tumultuous nature of the industry small towns are often left with run down roads and infrastructure when oil tanks.
Jimmie Long, the Howard County Precinct 3 Commissioner said, “When oil is down or slow those folks leave but while they are here they are driving on our infrastructure and doing damage and using it and then they leave and leave it to all the local property tax owners to do all of the repairs.”
According to the Commissioner, this is a tale as old as time and now, Howard County has $36-million in road repairs and their budget for that area is about $1.5-million.
“You can see that we are in a really upside-down situation. These deteriorations just continue to climb,” said Long.
Which is why he proposed the ‘Howard County Assistance District’ Proposition. Which would increase the sales tax from 6.25% to 8.25% for areas outside the city limits of Forsan, Big Spring, and Coahoma.
“I don’t know about most people but I get tired of increased property tax and this is a way that each person that buys anything outside of the incorporated areas would help contribute to the cost of road repair,” he said.
This proposition is on the ballot this election. The commissioner said, “I believe it is in the best interest. Any kind of tax is not good, I don’t like any kind of increase in taxes but the least of the two evils is the sales tax.”