CORRECTION: A previous version of this article erred by stating the sales tax increased. The Anna sales tax did not increase, and instead voters approved a portion of the sales tax already collected to be reallocated.
ANNA — Mayor Mike Crist said Tuesday night, after all the city’s sales tax proposition election vote numbers were added up, that the votes Anna residents cast sent a clear message.
“This is a message from the voters that we are doing the right thing financially for all the citizens,” he said.
On Tuesday Anna voters approved a proposition that would reallocate a portion of the city sales tax. The city collects an 8.25 sales tax, of which the state collects 6.25 percent. This leaves 2 percent for the city of Anna to use. Before the election, 1 percent of that allocation went to the city’s general fund, and the other 1 percent was divided evenly between the Anna Community Development Corporation and the Economic Development Corporation.
The sales tax proposal Anna residents voted on would reallocate a portion of that 2 percent, moving an additional 0.25 percent to the general fund while also increasing the CDC’s allocation to 0.75 percent.
When all the vote centers had turned in their numbers, Collin County’s Election Summary Report showed that the vote was 2,211, or 65.65 percent, for, and 1,157, or 34.35 percent, against the proposition. Once the election is canvassed, the general fun will now have 1.25
The approved proposition also allows for two other major changes. Firstly, Crist explained, where there had been a percentage of sales tax funds raised allocated to both the Economic Development Corporation and the Community Development Corporation, now only the CDC will receive the sales tax monies allocated. Crist said that both EDC and CDC are governed by the same people on the boards.
“EDC is restricted to certain things it can do,” Crist said. “CDC can do all the same things (that EDC can do), plus more. In effect, people have often been making presentations twice. What we are looking to do is simplify the (decision-making and project-funding) process. The EDC will continue to exist, but only as legal entity, with no new operations going through it. Everything will be handled through the CDC.”
Thirdly, Crist said of the passing of this proposition, the additional .25 percent income will go into the city’s general funds, but will be earmarked exclusively for road improvements. The city is growing, Crist added, at about 1,000 people a year, and these improvements will be necessary.
“By the end of 2016, our population is estimated to be about 13,000, and 14,000 residents by the end of 2017,” he said. “Our infrastructure is aching, our existing roads are not doing so well. This added income will be solely for asphalt and concrete.”
Crist, as an example, talked about a quarter-mile stretch of Hackberry Road off State Highway 5 with an estimated $864,000 cost to improve.
“And that’s not even land acquisition,” Crist said.
This added designated income, an estimated $187,500 the first year, will help relieve the tax burden for Anna citizens, he said.
“Within a few years, with Wal-Mart coming in and anticipated resale development, we could support a $5 million bond for road improvements,” Crist said.
Greater Anna Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kevin Hall said that the Chamber has a contract with CDC for some funding, and that he has been assured that CDC will continue allocating the Chamber the same funds.
“They are governed by state as to how much they can allow,” Hall said.
This money is a base to the Chamber’s other fundraising and budgeted events, which include the recent Glowfest, an annual golf tournament, and the annual banquet. The chamber also sponsors the Fourth of July and Christmas parade, and also relies on chamber memberships and sponsorships for its yearly budget.