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ELECTION 2020 — See new Port Arthur EDC sales tax question, other Nov. 3 ballot items

The city of Port Arthur officially amended an ordinance that will now include a sales and use tax request on the Nov. 3 general election ballot.

Voters are now asked to adopt or reject a tax of one-eighth of 1 percent for the Port Arthur Economic Development Corporation’s promotion and development of new and expanded business enterprises.

The Port Arthur City Council on Sept. 15 voted to take off the ballot a proposition for the EDC to donate one-eighth of proceeds from a half-cent sales tax toward rehabilitation of city parks for four years.

The proposition is one of nine Port Arthur voters will consider. Among the most notable, voters are asked to approve or reject:

  • numbering each council position from 1-6 (changing at-large positions 7 and 8 to 5 and 6) and calling for councilmembers elected to positions 5 and 6 to serve one four-year term starting in 2023;
  • creation of a Pleasure Island Department, with the city manager directing and controlling in the same manner as with all other city departments; and
  • sale of Carver Terrace, Civic, Felix & Milton Barker, Hughen, Immigrant and Montgomery parks.

The city council unanimously approved funding for the Port Arthur Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Port Arthur Historical Society and the Southeast Texas Arts Council under the fiscal year 2020-21 budget, which will go into effect Thursday (Oct. 1).

The Convention and Visitors Bureau is set to receive $730,000, the Historical Society $246,336 toward funding of the Museum of the Gulf Coast and the Arts Council $20,000.

Those funds will come from the city’s hotel occupancy tax account.

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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