84° F Friday, July 28, 2017

Lakeway voters have seen the merits of their support for the city’s road maintenance sales tax. They drive on them daily.

The quarter cent tax that generates about $400,000 in annual revenue for the city is up for renewal in a May 11 special election. Per state law, cities must reauthorize the sales tax through election every four years.

Since voters last approved the tax in 2009 by a 1,102 to 287 count, the funds have paid for more than $1.3 million in road projects. The tax has generated more than $3 million in its 12-year history, according to city officials.

Lakeway recently resurfaced of a section of Lohman’s Crossing using $434,000 from its street overlay program, into which the majority of road maintenance sales taxes go, Lakeway City Manager Steve Jones said. Other uses include minor road repairs and major road reconstruction projects.

The budgeted revenue for the road maintenance sales tax for fiscal year 2013 is $420,000, Jones said.

“It’s not a new tax,” Councilman Bruce Harris said when Lakeway City Council approved the special election. “It’s the resumption or continuation of the old one that is so important.”

If the proposition fails, and that amount had to be raised from property taxes, the city’s ad valorem tax rate of 18.15 cents per $100 of assessed property value would need to increase by roughly 1.6 cents, according to Jones.

Lakeway has an 8.25 percent sales tax of which 6.25 percent is remitted to the state, 1 percent goes to the city’s general fund, .5 percent reduces property taxes and .25 goes toward maintenance and repair of city roads. Lake Travis Community Library District collects the other .25 percent.

City leaders noted that sales taxes generated from visitors would offset their use of local thoroughfares.

“This tax is a valuable, dedicated source of revenue that shares the pain of maintaining of our city streets among all users,” Mayor Dave DeOme wrote in his column to the View.

The city canceled its general election because DeOme and councilman Joe Bain were unopposed. Zoning and Planning Commissioner Phil Brown and City Building Commissioner Jim Powell, who also were unopposed, will succeed outgoing councilmen Alan Tye and Dennis Wallace.

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