Sales tax rules

January 14, 2018

This comes from the Texas legislative council web page:

The sales and use tax (referred to herein as “sales tax”) imposed on most taxable goods and
services consists of a state sales and use tax and a local sales and use tax. The state sales tax rate is
6.25 percent of the sales price of taxable goods and services, and this rate is uniformly applied to
taxable retail transactions throughout the state. Local jurisdictions, including cities, counties, and
some special districts, may also impose a local sales tax after voter approval, but the sum of all local
sales taxes may not exceed two percent anywhere in the state. The maximum sales tax paid on a
taxable item anywhere in Texas is 8.25 percent.

The imposition of a local sales tax must be approved by the voters residing in the jurisdiction in
which the sales tax is to be imposed. Local sales tax revenues can be used for a variety of purposes,
including general fund purposes, property tax relief, health care for the indigent, crime control,
economic development, support of public libraries, emergency services, street maintenance, and
support of public transit. Because of the variety in local sales tax options, not all Texans pay an 8.25
percent sales tax. Some might pay only a 6.75 percent rate; others might pay a 7.75 or 8.0 percent
sales tax rate, depending on where they purchase a taxable item. This variation reflects the different
kinds of services and levels of services approved by the voters to be funded by local sales taxes.
Cities may levy a local sales tax of up to two percent; counties, up to two percent; transit
authorities, up to one percent; and special districts, up to two percent. State law governs the order in
which these taxes take effect, so as not to exceed the two percent cap on the sum of all local sales
taxes at any location in the state.

In our case 1.5% goes to the city general fund and .5% goes to Sun Metro.

We deserve better


EPISD–public facility corporation

January 9, 2018

These minutes from the EPISD administrative public facility corporation show that the district still intends to use the corporation to build the new central office:

The public facility corporation was created by the board of managers which was then headed by our current mayor.

Don’t worry about the cost–we can’t do anything about it.  The corporation has the power to issue bonds without voter approval.

If you are curious about the “summary of the project” that was presented, don’t bother to look.  The district does not post the agenda material for this special group’s meetings.

We deserve better


Not really paying

January 2, 2018

An ethics complaint about the actions of the Ysleta Independent School District superintendent and its then board president  was filed with the Texas Ethics Commission back in 2015.

They were accused of using public funds to pay for political advertising relating to  a pending bond issue.

The commission recently assessed a $500 dollar fine against each of the individuals.

According to the a Times article the superintendent  said:

“that he does not agree with the commission’s ruling but agreed to pay the fine to avoid using taxpayer dollars to litigate the case in Austin.”

We believe that his decision was the right one, without regard as to whether he actually violated the law or did not.

We find it unfortunate, however, that:

 “He said the district has paid both his and McClean’s fines, which totaled $1,000.”

The district did not violate the law.  Whatever happened was the result of their actions and the taxpayers should not be required to pay the fines.

You can read the ethics commission order here.

We deserve better


Texas supreme court ruling

December 10, 2017

This is unfortunately old news but a knowledgeable reader thought it was worth posting:

There has been talk of the state legislature changing the law to close the loophole.

Let your state representative know how you feel about this.


Back in the district attorney’s court

November 28, 2017

Two of our community bloggers have been trading pot shots about various things including the apparent open meetings violations committed by a current and former members of city council.  See Texas Rangers.

Now according to the Lionstar blog:

Well that allegedly fake investigation by the Texas Rangers was concluded and turned over to the District Attorneys Office.

Now it is up to our district attorney.

One can argue that the DA  was right to stay out of the school prosecutions since they were being handled at the federal level.

This issue however is clearly a local one.  The public deserves prompt action from the district attorney.  He should either prosecute the case or let us know why he will not.

We deserve better


Putting the squeeze on local governments

November 16, 2017

It seems that congress is considering eliminating the personal income tax deductions for state and local taxes.

That would cause citizen involvement to lower local taxes.

Maybe that is a good idea.

We deserve better


Grading our politicians

November 15, 2017

The earlier post about the kindergarten report card got us to look into what else our elected officials might learn at EPISD.

According to the pre-kindergarten report card the school district measures these things:

Maybe we should change the age limit on these elected positions.  A pre-k child that gets a “P” for proficient on these things might be a better candidate than what we have.

We deserve better


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