Arlington’s economy is booming. Much of our prosperity is due to the spending of the millions of visitors and tourists coming to our entertainment district. With their spending comes valuable sales tax revenue we can use to improve city services in every part of Arlington.
As Mayor Jeff Williams and city leaders look at our long term future, it’s become obvious that to continue our momentum, promote economic growth and provide property tax relief we must look at ways to take advantage of the millions of dollars spent by visitors and tourists in our city.
Based on feedback from business leaders, the City Council has placed a smart, forward-thinking proposition on the May ballot that would allow voters the chance to increase our sales tax rate by just one-quarter of a penny. This would make our sales tax rate the exact same as ninety percent of cities across Texas, including just about every city in the metroplex.
The Board of Directors of the Greater Arlington Chamber of Commerce recently voted to enthusiastically support Proposition One and encourage citizens to vote YES on May 2, 2020. If the proposal passes, the City will collect about $18 million a year to strengthen economic development efforts.
The Chamber believes that both economic development and economic stability are imperative to our City. Utilizing the remaining ¼ cent available to us is a wise investment and keeps our economic momentum going.
When considering the investment, members of the Board raised three main reasons for support.
ECONOMIC IMPACT – Proposition One would provide the financial incentives Arlington needs to compete against Dallas, Fort Worth, Frisco and other North Texas cities and promote corporate expansion or relocation to Arlington, and support local businesses. The passing of the proposal would create an EDC for Arlington. State law provides an EDC with the authority to spend dollars on eligible activities that support such economic development efforts.
HIGH IMPACT, LOW COST – More than half of Arlington’s sale tax funds are paid by visitors and tourists to our city. With passage of Proposition One, Arlington residents will contribute a little less than half of the revenue, about $1.50 per month. With only a small individual contribution, a total of $18 million can be invested for economic growth, spur neighborhood revitalization efforts in parts of our city that need a boost – and help fund future reductions in our property tax rates. It is a wise and fiscally-responsible investment in Arlington’s future.
JOBS – By focusing on business expansion and relocation, we can bring thousands of new, high-paying jobs for working families. The employment rate is one of the most critical measures of economic success. Not only does job creation strengthen our communities, but it also strengthens our businesses. Jobs generate money, and the business community benefits from the added cash flow.
The Greater Arlington Chamber of Commerce will be holding informative meetings over the coming weeks. If you want your opinion known, make sure to attend.