Commission asks schools to dole out tax

Published 9:19 pm Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Dallas County Commission voted to make the county school system responsible for distributing half-cent sales tax revenue between the Dallas County and Selma City school systems.

The commission made the unanimous vote Monday during its late commission meeting to amend an ordinance based on auditors’ suggestion.

“I tend to refer to the auditors, because it makes common sense to do that,” county attorney John W. Kelly III said. “Secondly, I don’t think that our fiscal officers wanted responsibility either of trying to keep up year-to-year what the percentage and what the division is.”

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The half-cent sales tax was approved in December 2012 to benefit the Dallas County School system, which was experiencing financial trouble according to Probate Judge Kim Ballard and Dallas County Superintendent Don Willingham.

Auditors informed the Dallas County Commission recently that the tax should have been distributed to both the city and county systems.

Since the tax was approved, approximately $2 million has been generated with about $1 million of it intended for the Selma City Schools, which never received it.

The county commission voted during an early June commission meeting to amend the half-cent sales tax ordinance to allow the sales tax revenue to be distributed among both the Dallas County and Selma City School system.

Kelly announced Monday during the commission meeting that he received a call Friday informing him that county auditors suggested the county school board should be responsible for the distribution.