Voters pass both PA propositions

Published 9:25 pm Saturday, May 7, 2016


Port Arthur voters said an overwhelming yes to two propositions on the May 7 election ballot. Both were proposed by the city Economic Development Corporation as ways to utilize sales tax revenue for city improvements.

Proposition I passed by a vote of 2,259, or 75.73 percent of the vote.

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The proposition authorizes the PAEDC to return 1/8 cent of the half cent sales tax generated in Port Arthur back to the city to provide revenue for maintenance and repair of city streets.

The half-cent realized from taxes on all sales, purchases and services occurring in the city of Port Arthur generate average revenue of approximately $4 million to $4.7 million for economic development in the city.

For example, if the EDC has an annual sales and use tax revenue of $4 million, $1 million of that would be given back to the city for street funding.

The amount of funding set aside for streets is contingent upon how much sales tax revenue is realized each year. It will be one-fourth of whatever revenue we bring in each year with a maximum of $5 million over the four-year period.

Though the funding is coming from the EDC’s coffers, the city will be in charge of which streets are scheduled for improvements.

Voters also said yes to Proposition 2 by a vote of 1,822, or 64.82 percent.

The proposition is designed to bring people with jobs to the city’s downtown area by assisting with the cost of affordable homes.

For the next three years beginning on Oct. 1, the EDC will use the funding to pay down the amount between what a bank is willing to lend the potential homeowner and what the housing cost.

Houses would be built in the area bound by Atlanta Street on the west, Eighth Street on the north, Nashville Street on the east and Fifth Street on the south.

The EDC is proposing homes built in the targeted area have a minimum value of at least $130,000.

Proposition 2 allows the EDC to spend $300,000 a year on an affordable housing project designed to put people with lower paying jobs in homes they otherwise might not be able to afford.

Those making application for the new homes would need to meet credit requirements and fall within income limits established by the U.S. Housing and Urban Development.


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