2017 Special Election
Sales Tax Special Election
A special election will be held on May 6, 2017, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at polling locations throughout the City of Palestine for the purpose of dedicating a portion of the city's sales tax to repair and maintain existing city streets.
To be eligible to vote, you must register on or before April 6, 2017 (at least thirty days prior to an election.)
Early Voting by personal appearance will be conducted each weekday at City Hall, 504 N. Queen Street, Palestine, Texas, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. beginning on April 24 and ending on May 2, with extended hours between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on April 25 and May 2.
Applications for ballot by mail shall be mailed to: Teresa Herrera, City Secretary, 504 N. Queen Street, Palestine, Texas, 75801. Applications for ballot by mail must be received by mail no later than the close of business on April 20.
The polling places listed below will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on May 6 for voting:
District 1 – Freedom Fellowship Church, 125 Kickapoo Street
District 2 – New Fellowship Christian Church, 1500 W. Reagan Street
District 3 – Washington Early Childhood Center, 1020 Hamlett Street
District 4 – Westwood Jr. High School, 1801 Panther Drive
District 5 – Palestine ISD Administrative Offices, 1007 E. Park Avenue
District 6 – Palestine High School, 1600 South Loop 256
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions on the special election.
What is sales tax?
Sales tax is a tax state and local governments place on goods and services sold. The tax funds services provided to residents.
How much sales tax do I pay?
In Palestine, shoppers pay 8.25 percent in sales tax. For every dollar, eight and one-quarter cents is added in sales tax. Sales tax is collected by retailers and submitted to the state comptroller. For more information on sales tax statewide, visit the Comptroller of Public Accounts website.
Who receives sales tax money?
There are three entities in Palestine that receive sales tax. The state receives 6.25 percent of the sales tax. Anderson County receives .5 percent tax and the City of Palestine receives 1.5 percent.
What is Proposition 1?
The following is the ballot language for Proposition 1:
“A proposition to redirect 0.125% (1/8%) of the current local sales and use tax, currently used to reduce the property tax rate to a dedicated local sales tax used for maintenance and repair of municipal streets, as follows: The adoption of an additional local sales and use tax within the City of Palestine at the rate of 0.125% (1/8%) to be used to reduce the property tax rate, combined with the adoption of an local sales and use tax within the City of Palestine at the rate of 0.125% (1/8) to provide revenue for maintenance and repair of municipal streets.”
What does that mean?
The City of Palestine currently uses its 1.5 percent in sales tax dollars in three ways, operations, economic development, and property tax relief. City operations, money that goes into the general fund, uses 1.25 percent (1¼ cent) in sales tax, which includes .25 percent for property tax relief.
Economic development uses the remaining at .25 percent each (or ¼ cent).
Proposition 1 would take a portion of property tax relief, .125 percent (or 1/8th) and dedicate that to repair and maintain existing city streets. Proposition 1 would not take any sales tax funds from economic development.
Where does that money go?
If voters approve Proposition 1, a fund would be created to restrict spending the proceeds only to repair and maintain existing city streets.
Can the money be used for other projects?
No, the funds would be restricted to repair and maintain existing city streets.
What about other infrastructure needs?
Proposition 1 funds cannot be used for other projects in the city. Those projects would have to be funded by existing taxes and fees.
How much money could Proposition 1 earn?
According to estimates from our Finance Department, Proposition 1 will fund approximately $500,000 to repair and maintain existing city streets at current taxable sales levels.
Would I have to pay more sales taxes?
No, the state will not allow sales taxes to rise. Proposition 1 only redirects sales taxes that are already levied. No new sales taxes can be levied.
Would I have to pay more in property taxes?
If you own a home or property in the City of Palestine, your property taxes could rise due to the proposed reduction in property tax relief. According to estimates, a home with a $100,000 valuation could see a rise of approximately $55 in your total tax bill.
However, property taxes are based on calculations that include the assessed valuation of a home or property in the city, coupled with property tax rates for several taxing entities, including the City of Palestine, Anderson County, Palestine or Westwood Independent School Districts, Floodplain Management and Trinity Valley Community College.
Those tax rates are subject annually to public budgeting process and possible rollback elections.
Last year, Anderson County passed a bond election for $20 million in road construction. Will that money be used in Palestine?
No. That money will only be used for county roads.
Can anyone vote on Proposition 1?
All registered voters in the City of Palestine can vote on Proposition 1 during the election on May 6.
Proposition 1 Listening Series
To better inform residents of the sales tax special election, the City of Palestine will host three Town Hall meetings for Proposition 1.
The Proposition 1 Listening Series will give residents information on the sales tax election. On May 6, voters will decide to dedicate a portion of sales tax to repair and maintain city streets. Residents will learn information on sales tax and how it is used in Palestine.
Residents will also have the opportunity to ask questions to city staff and city council members about Proposition 1. The first listening session in the series will be at 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 30 at Palestine City Hall, 504 N. Queen St.
The second and third sessions will be on April 13 at Palestine ISD Central Office, 1007 E. Park Ave., and on April 20 at the Westwood ISD Fine Arts Building at Westwood High School, 1820 Panther Boulevard. Both sessions will be at 6 p.m.
For the March 30 session, the City will also host a virtual town hall meeting. Residents will be able to submit questions via Facebook and receive answers in real time via streaming video. All three listening sessions will be live streamed for residents.