by Caroline Vandergriff | CBS 11


UPDATE: Quarter-Cent Sales Tax Increase In Arlington Going On May Ballot

ARLINGTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Arlington voters will likely see a sales tax increase on the May ballot. The city wants to boost the rate from 8% to 8.25%.

“This is decision our citizens will need to make,” said Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams.

This week, the Arlington City Council took the first step towards putting the proposal on the May ballot.

The mayor said it’s an opportunity to invest in Arlington, by capitalizing on the many tourists who visit and spend money. More than half of the city’s sales tax is paid for by people who don’t live in Arlington.

“We need to be paying for better services to help strengthen our neighborhoods, but to also keep taxes down,” Mayor Williams said. “And this is great method for us to do it while utilizing a whole lot of other people’s money.”

With the quarter cent increase, the average consumer in Arlington would pay $15 more in sales tax over a year.

According to the city, it would generate an additional $17 million to put in a dedicated economic development fund.

“This sales tax would be used to be invested in our community, to revitalize our community, grow our small businesses – and then be able to see that return on investment to help us pay for city services and improvement,” said Williams.

On Tuesday, the city council will vote on the proposal a final time. If approved, voters will get to decide whether to increase the sales tax rate on May 2.

Fort Worth, Dallas and most other cities in this area are all at an 8.25% sales tax, which is the highest rate allowed by the state. Arlington is one of the few cities sitting at 8%.