Street improvement tax worth a look in PA

Published 5:00 pm Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Nederland voters approved a proposition in Saturday’s election that reauthorized the city’s use of one-fourth of 1 percent of the city’s sales tax to fund street repair projects. The street improvement tax, as it has become known, brings an average of $600,000 annually to the city for street repair projects. The measure, which has been in place since 2007 and must be reauthorized every four years, was given the green light by 88 percent of the voters on Saturday, an indication that residents are satisfied that the street improvement tax is accomplishing the task.
We encourage the Port Arthur city manager and council to take a look at how the street improvement program is working in Nederland and whether it is something that could help with the Port Arthur’s massive street repair needs. A spot check of past sales tax rebate totals shows Port Arthur might expect close to three times the amount Nederland receives.
Dedicating $1.5 million per year to street repair in Port Arthur from a street improvement tax won’t fix everything, but it would be a start on something. It’s an idea that’s working in a neighboring city and just might work in Port Arthur, too.

About Roger Cowles

Roger Cowles is the editor of The Port Arthur News. Born in Port Arthur, he grew up in Groves. He is a graduate of Port Neches-Groves High School and Lamar University, where he was editor of the University Press. Cowles is married to Celines Del Valle, is a member and past president of The Rotary Club of Port Arthur and serves on a number of boards for local agencies, including the United Way of Mid and South Jefferson County and the Salvation Army.

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