Midland County voters – those residing outside the city of Midland – overwhelmingly defeated Midland County Assistance District No. 1, and County Judge Terry Johnson said last week he would not rule out bringing the tax item back before the voters.

“We will continue to closely monitor the needs of those in the county and community as a whole for their interest in any future action,” Johnson wrote in an email to the Reporter-Telegram.

Johnson was one of three members of the Midland County Commissioners’ Court to put a county assistance tax district on the November ballot (Luis Sanchez and Randy Prude were the others). They stated an assistance district would be key in growing revenues for the county and allow for projects to take place that would have challenged the current budget.

Johnson also supported spending county money on a mailer sent to county voters to promote awareness for the assistance district ballot item and to explain what the unprecedented revenue growth in county government could mean to county residents. Johnson said the tax could raise as much as $80 million a year.

County voters decided that growth wasn’t needed. The Midland County Elections Office showed 658 votes for the county assistance district and 1,399 against. That translated to less than one-third of county voters approving the creation of the district and 1.25 percent increase in the county’s sales tax.

In fact, Elections Office information showed that of the nine precincts where voting took place, the highest percentage of voters voting to approve the district was Precinct 202 (the Greenwood area) with 34.2 percent in support.

Voters in the same precinct also voted down a $140 million Greenwood ISD school bond. Just more than 40.1 percent of voters in that precinct voted for the bond.

“With a school bond election and a sales tax initiative going on at the same time voters may have felt overloaded,” Johnson wrote about why he suspected the assistance district did not pass.

Jonna Smoot, who has announced she will challenge Johnson for the Republican nomination for Midland County judge, wrote in an email that she was not surprised by the results of the assistance district election.

In fact, Elections Office information showed that of the nine precincts where voting took place, the highest percentage of voters voting to approve the district was Precinct 202 (the Greenwood area) with 34.2 percent in support.

Voters in the same precinct also voted down a $140 million Greenwood ISD school bond. Just more than 40.1 percent of voters in that precinct voted for the bond.

“With a school bond election and a sales tax initiative going on at the same time voters may have felt overloaded,” Johnson wrote about why he suspected the assistance district did not pass.

Jonna Smoot, who has announced she will challenge Johnson for the Republican nomination for Midland County judge, wrote in an email that she was not surprised by the results of the assistance district election.

 

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