JENNIFER FIERRO • STAFF WRITER
GRANITE SHOALS — Looking for ways to raise money for road improvements, Granite Shoals leaders will ask residents to consider increasing the city sales tax to 2 percent when they go to the polls during a special election May 7.
Council members approved the special election during their regular meeting Jan. 26.
Voters adopted a sales tax levy in May 2015 for property tax relief that could be reallocated to the general funds if the Granite Shoals voters allow it during the May 2016 election.
Currently, the city collects 1.75 percent in sales tax. By raising it to 2 percent, the city would collect an additional $30,000.
The council discussed the measure because of a law change to House Bill 157.
“A modification … gives flexibility on how to use and allocate sales tax,” City Manager Ken Nickel said.
So if voters approve the measure, 1 percent will go to general funding, while the other 1 percent will go to street maintenance.
“We have emphasized road repair,” the city manager said. “We’re trying to find ways to raise revenue for the streets. Citizens have emphasized that to us loud and clear.”
Nickel noted Granite Shoals’ neighbors have already been collecting the maximum amount.
“We’re behind the curve,” he said. “Marble Falls and Burnet are already at 2 percent.”
The state allows cities to examine road maintenance issues and how to pay for repairs every four years; thus, the desire to analyze every possible resolution, the city manager said.
“I think it’s a good thing that we are focused,” Nickel said.