Incorporated areas have pressing needs

Referendum vote

If you are among the 104,000 rural residents of Cameron County, you have the opportunity to make a difference with a referendum vote in this current election, which concludes on today.

The referendum question deals with creating what is being called a “Cameron County Assistance District.” The district is made up of those living county wide in rural unincorporated areas except for those areas that are within territories of any of the 17 cities of the county.

If approved by voters, the assistance district would be a governmental body created to address the needs of the people who live in the rural areas. At the same time, a 2 percent sales tax increase in the rural district would be imposed in order to raise funds for use only in the rural areas.

How much is the sales tax?

A 2 percent sales tax is being proposed, which will elevate most rural retailers to 8.25 percent sales tax, the same rate levied by most cities in the county and the maximum allowed.

That means, if you make a purchase of $10, your total tax would be 83 cents, the same amount you pay in the cities of Harlingen and Brownsville as well as most others in the county.

How much could it raise?

It is estimated the eligible sales in the proposed rural district could total as much as $48 million. That means the sales tax increase could generate up to $950,000 annually for rural improvements to benefit the public health and welfare of the residents in these rural communities.

WHAT THE REFERENDUM SAYS

Cameron County Proposition A

“Shall the Commissioners Court of Cameron County, Texas be authorized to create the Cameron County Assistance District No. 1 (the “District) and authorize the imposition of the 2% sales and use tax within the boundaries of the District for the purpose of financing the operations of the District, all in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 387, Texas Local Government Code?”

Yes vote means – The county should create a special district and impose the 2 percent sales tax

No vote means – The county should not create the special district and not impose the 2 percent sales tax