For the first two days of early voting, the ballot language read the board was seeking to increase sales tax and use to 10%. Of course, due to Texas law, this is not legal and sales tax is capped at 8.25% with 6.25% for the state leaving local entities only 2% to raise.
When the error was raised, the solution seems now to be voter disenfranchisement. The Liberty County Clerk has issued new emergency ballots with the correct language of raising property taxes from .01 to .10 per $100 in valuation. The problem? Anyone who voted on the incorrect ballot cannot vote on the new ballot.
The only redress left for citizens is to contest the election upon its conclusion, which Republican Precinct Chairman, Jeff LeBlanc in the district says he fully plans on doing. The history of this proposition has been riddled with errors, he claims, and makes one wonder if this board is even capable of handling any new taxpayer money with legality. "It boggles the mind that a board entrusted with taxpayer money cannot seem to propose raising our taxes in a correct manner" he stated. " I am not sure at this point if they can be trusted to handle the money they receive now from taxpayers much less a 900% increase."
Last November this proposition was defeated by voters. Then, voters voted for the prop on copy paper separate from the regular ballots due to the ESD not getting the ballot language to the clerk in time for it to be put on the original ballot. This time, incorrect ballot language was submitted.
The RLC of CD 36 urges voters to reject a 900% increase in the tax rate. Additionally, we hope to be meeting with voters in the short time left in this election to discuss the issues with such an increase.