Commission adopts minor changes to new sales taxPublished 4:46pm Saturday, November 17, 2012
During the first meeting in their new term, the Dallas County Commission approved an amended sales tax ordinance, which will provide certain industries with a reduced tax rate.
Probate Judge Kim Ballard said there was an area of the original ordinance that needed correction. The original ordinance called for a half-cent sales tax on all merchandise in Dallas County. With the amended ordinance, certain industries will have a reduced tax rate.
“The simple explanation is that we, a few months back, passed a half-cent sales tax for the benefit of the Dallas County School System,” Ballard said. “But now, with the revision, auto manufacturing dealers and farm service dealers will pay a reduced amount of the tax.”
Ballard said these industries will have a reduced rate because of the higher price of their items.
“If you buy a new car, that’s thousands of dollars, and they don’t have to pay the whole new half-cent tax,” Ballard said. “They pay a very reduced amount.”
Dallas County attorney John Kelly broke down the formulas during the meeting, explaining how the new sales tax amount was made.
Ballard said the tax was originally meant to generate more funds for the county school system.
“The educational tax was necessary because in Dallas County, the Dallas County School Board is somewhat dependent on local revenue to meet their budget,” Ballard said. “They currently get a quarter of the one-cent sales tax that is already in effect.”
Several years ago, Ballard said the school system desperately needed the money to meet their funds. Also, he said a viable school system is crucial for bringing industry to the area, which is another reason the tax was passed.
“This is a direct benefit to the county school system but it’s also a benefit to you, me, industry and everyone else,” Ballard said. “When an industry is looking at locating in Dallas County, one of the first things they look at is the stability of the school system.”
Since the tax has gone into effect, Ballard said the county school system has built a much stronger foundation.
“We already have a great school system, but this really solidifies Dallas County,” he said.