In a high-turnout gubernatorial election year for Ector County, voters approved two separate tax-related measures proposed by the county and school board.

As previously reported in Texas Scorecard, the county’s proposal included a special assistance district which will allow for a 1.25 percent sales tax to be levied on all areas outside the city limits, making the sales tax rate a uniform 8.25 percent across the entire county.

County Judge Debi Hays supported the measure, outlining issues such as the signification population growth in the county, increased crime, and demand on county government services. Hays also pointed out since the county currently relies on property taxes, the additional consumption-based revenue would greatly help pay for things that property owners shouldn’t have to bear alone.

The sales tax measure passed with a little over 54 percent of the vote, with 3,213 voting for and 2,729 voting against. Ector County Independent School District proposed a tax ratification election on the ballot, asking voters to ratify a tax increase. The measure will increase the maintenance and operations property tax rate to the maximum allowed under state law to $1.17 per $100 valuation.

The measure is projected to bring in an additional $16 million in revenue that the district says will be used for teacher and staff pay raises, new school buses, insurance deductibles on roofing damages, and increased security.

Unlike 2017, when ECISD’s TRE proposal failed by 62 percent, this time around it garnered over 60 percent of the vote, ensuring its passage.

Overall, 20,000 voters turned out in Ector County, far surpassing the last gubernatorial election in 2014.

Matt Stringer

Matthew Stringer is from Odessa, TX and serves as a West Texas Correspondent for Texas Scorecard.