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Ellis County officials pitch sales tax in Victoria


VICTORIA — After Thursday night’s public forum, Ellis County Commission Chairman Dean Haselhorst made it known his strong preference for a county sales tax as a means for financing their project.

Earlier, in the town hall meeting at the Knights of Columbus Hall, the question was raised was it really a choice between the sales tax — which goes before the voters next month — and an increase in property taxes to be used to finance the construction of an EMS/rural fire building and expansion and renovation to the county jail, Law Enforcement Center and courthouse.

Property taxes also were brought up briefly in Tuesday’s public forum in Hays, the first of six scheduled town hall meetings before the May 14 special election.

Haselhorst was emphatic in his preference for a county sales tax to pay for the 12.3 million project as the way to go. Total cost is approximately $14.3 million after adding interest.

“This project has to happen,” Haselhorst said. “It’ll happen a lot quicker with sales tax.

“If we have to look at the property tax side, which I’m not very in favor of — because it affects every person in Ellis County that owns property — if we go property tax way, I’m not for sure the number of years it would take for the project. It’s going to take a lot longer. That’s why I’m 100 percent for the sales tax; I’m not 100 percent for raising property taxes.”

For more on the forum, see Friday's Hays Daily News.