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Ector County Residents Gather To Talk About Raising Local Sales Tax

(Photosource: Jean Beaufort.)

By Mitch Borden

The Ector County Commissioners held public forums this week to go over a sale tax increase that’s about to go into effect across the county at the beginning of April. People gathered at these meetings to share where they'd like to see their tax dollars to go.

The rate hike was approved by voters last year and the county's sales tax will go up to 8.25 percent. Currently, the City of Odessa charges this tax rate, but the sales tax outside of the city is only 7 percent. 

Since the tax increase was passed months ago, the commissioners wanted to give residents another chance to share how tax revenue should be used. 

According to Ector County Judge Deb Hayes, “Our main mission was to go back out into the county to make sure that the issues they wanted that money to be used for were the same issues they want it for today.”

Hayes said so far the priorities of residents haven’t changed.

“Their main concerns are their roads, law enforcement, and illegal dumping.”

The new tax rate is expected to generate about an additional $12 million for the county annually. Hayes said those funds will only be dedicated to projects outside of Odessa’s city limits. The county will receive its first check from the sales tax increase later this summer. 

Mitch Borden is Permian Basin Reporter & Producer at Marfa Public Radio.