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Dish to vote on tax options

Profile image for By Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe / Staff Writer
By Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe / Staff Writer

Dish town leaders are asking voters to consider three sales tax propositions for the May 10 election that they say will help keep the tiny municipality sustainable.

If approved, the measures would help pay for street repairs, economic development and put a little more in town coffers in exchange for property tax relief. Mayor Bill Sciscoe said the propositions would authorize sales tax collections for the first time in Dish town limits, adding another 1.75 percent to purchases, including electricity.

“My entire administration, I’ve been trying to set up town business and build a foundation for moving forward,” said Sciscoe, who is the town’s fourth mayor and has served since 2011. “It takes a little more than sticking a flag up and saying we’re here.”

The first proposition would authorize a 1 percent sales tax for general revenue. The second proposition would authorize another one-fourth of a percent in sales tax that would be designated for street repairs and maintenance.

The third proposition would authorize the creation of an economic development corporation for the city and authorizes another one-half percent in sales tax to be dedicated to economic incentives allowed under the Texas Local Government Code.

Also on the Dish ballot is one at-large town commissioner’s position. Longtime incumbent Charles Smith, 70, who is retired, is running for re-election unopposed.

The town was incorporated in 2000, initially as the town of Clark, in part because residents in the area were concerned that it would be annexed by Fort Worth. In 2005, residents voted to change the name to Dish as part of a promotion by the satellite network company that gave residents 10 years of free satellite service.

Sciscoe said Dish doesn’t have any big commercial businesses yet and expects to collect less than $10,000 a year from the sales tax for now.

It’s difficult to sustain a city on property taxes alone, Sciscoe said, and Dish is also limited by its small population, which is comfortable, for now, being a bedroom community. Voters recently defeated an initiative that would have allowed liquor sales in the town limits.

Dish has set up a business district with strict zoning regulations in order to be ready as growth continues around Texas Motor Speedway and northward along FM156.

Early voting begins Monday and continues through May 6. The nearest early voting locations for Dish residents include the Vivian Cockburn Municipal Building in Ponder and the Justin Municipal Complex in Justin.

PEGGY HEINKEL-WOLFE can be reached at 940-566-6881 and via Twitter at @phwolfeDRC.