ARLINGTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – The Arlington City Council unanimously voted Tuesday night to put a sales tax increase on the May 2 ballot.
City leaders say they want to generate more money, but put the least possible burden on people who live in the city.READ MORE: 12-Year-Old: 'You Killed A Really Good Man' After Father Murdered In Believed Dallas Road Rage Incident
Mayor Jeff Williams has 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.”READ MORE: From Threatened To Celebrated: North Texas Educator June Williams Davis Writing New Chapter In Black History
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.MORE NEWS: Texas Plants And Trees Suffered Serious Damage During Last Week's Winter Blast
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%.