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City opposes Senate Bill 1158

There’s a constitutional amendment that would raise the homestead exemption for school property taxes from $15,000 to $25,000.  Lawmakers say that will reduce the average amount of taxes paid to school districts by $125.
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During a lengthy meeting this week all but one of the Sulphur Springs City Council opposed the Texas Senate Bill 1158, which could increase sales taxes in Hopkins County.

City Manager Marc Maxwell and City Finance Director Peter Karsten stated their opposition to the bill.

Outside of the meeting, Maxwell stated he did not want Sulphur Springs to be known as the sales tax capitol of Texas. He also said the city already has the highest hotel tax rate. He cited many businesses will see this increased sales tax rate as a sign not to move here.

He explained the bill allows one county, Hopkins County, to go up on the sales tax rate and exceed the maximum local rate, as filled by State Senator Bob Hall. The citizens of Hopkins County would vote on this proposition which would allow for the lowering of property taxes and introducing a sales tax, with the conditions it would end when payments for the jail are completed.

Hopkins County Judge Robert Newsom spoke in favor of the bill as it would help fund the new jail.

Maxwell went on to say this sales tax rate would greatly affect job growth and development.

Councilman Craig Johnson motioned to approve opposition to Texas Senate Bill 1158 was second by Oscar Aguilar. The Council presented their resolution against the bill.