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Ellis OKs giving tax to county





ELLIS -- On a split vote, the Ellis city council approved a motion Monday night to give half of the city's share of revenue of a proposed 0.5-percent county sales tax to Ellis County.

The revenue generated from the tax would go toward a new EMS/rural fire building and improvements and renovation to the county jail, Law Enforcement Center and the courthouse.

Two members of the council voted for giving the county half of the city's share of revenue, two voted against, and two council members who work for the county abstained.

"I do not have to break a tie, because abstention votes always go in favor of the motion," said Ellis Mayor David McDaniel.

Earlier Monday, the council received an interlocal agreement asking for the city to give all of its revenue from the proposed tax toward the projects. County officials had met with the town council in March to explain why they were asking for an interlocal agreement.

"The city clerk will contact (Ellis County Administrator Greg Sund today) and give him the vote of the council," McDaniel said. "If that's acceptable to Ellis County, they'll come back with that revision or new agreement."

McDaniel said the council could act on a new interlocal agreement as soon as its next meeting April 15.

Ellis' share of a county sales tax is approximately 5.7 percent.

Victoria and Schoenchen also have been asked to contribute their share of sales tax revenue; they have not yet determined what they will do.

McDaniel said the council had a discussion of approximately 20 to 30 minutes before voting.

"Very, very lengthy discussion on the sales tax issue with the county," he said.