Voters in Mineral Wells and across Palo Pinto County can begin casting ballots ahead of the Nov. 7 general election.
In Mineral Wells, voters will find the three separate City of Mineral Wells capital improvement bond propositions to repair a list of streets, purchase the Bank of America Building and convert it into a new City Hall, and upgrading the main water line running from about West City Park west to Indian Creek Road.
Also on Mineral Wells and Palo Pinto County voters’ ballots will be the Emergency Services District No. 1 referendum asking voters countywide to approve levying a sales and use tax of up to 2 percent in the rural portions of the county outside Mineral Wells and ESD No. 2 to help fund rural 911 EMS service, along with seven proposed amendments to the Texas Constitution.
ESD No. 1 sales tax
If approved, the proposed ESD No. 1 sales tax would also not be collected in Graford, Gordon or Strawn as well as Mineral Wells and inside ESD No. 2. Residents of Graford, Gordon and Strawn would receive paid 911 EMS service if service is implemented.
The Nov. 7 sales tax question is the first step in securing the revenue needed to subsidize rural EMS service, which currently is $650,000 annually. If this ballot proposition passes, the county plans to then look at creating another ESD overlay that would levy an ad valorem tax in the service area. If successful, the county has discussed asking ESD No. 2 to merge with the new ESD to provide that district with paid, full-time EMS coverage.
If the ESD proposition fails on Nov. 7, the county will be back to square one on the rural EMS issue – or could scrap the idea altogether.
The three Mineral Wells bond propositions are:
• Proposition A – The issuance of $7,500,000 tax bonds for street and road improvements including replacement of water and sewer lines in connection with such street and road improvements.
• Proposition B – The issuance of $5,805,000 tax bonds for acquiring a building, and constructing and equipping improvements to said building, to be used for a new city hall, including municipal courts, and constructing and equipping renovations to the existing city hall building and city hall annex.
• Proposition C – The issuance of $3,960,000 tax bonds for constructing and installing a water line along U.S. Highway 180 West.
Voters can approve or reject any, or all three, of the propositions.
If all three propositions pass, the impact on the average $70,102 home in Mineral Wells is about $85 annually, or about $7 per month. The associated utility projects with the streets projects, along with the water line upgrade along U.S. Highway 180 West, would require a projected utility rate increase of $2.53.
Taxes are frozen on homestead properties for homeowners age 65 or older as long as no major upgrades or additions are made.
Voters in the Nov. 7 election will weigh in on seven proposed changes to the Texas Constitution.
During the legislative session earlier this year lawmakers proposed 150 joint resolutions to amend the Constitution of which seven made the cut to become propositions, which now require voter approval to take effect.
The Nov. 7 ballot contains the following propositions:
• Proposition 1: “The constitutional amendment authorizing the Legislature to provide for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of part of the market value of the residence homestead of a partially disabled veteran or the surviving spouse of a partially disabled veteran if the residence homestead was donated to the disabled veteran by a charitable organization for less than the market value of the residence homestead and harmonizing certain related provisions of the Texas Constitution.”
• Proposition 2: “The constitutional amendment to establish a lower amount for expenses that can be charged to a borrower and removing certain financing expense limitations for a home equity loan, establishing certain authorized lenders to make a home equity loan, changing certain options for the refinancing of home equity loans, changing the threshold for an advance of a home equity line of credit, and allowing home equity loans on agricultural homesteads.”
• Proposition 3: “The constitutional amendment limiting the service of certain officeholders appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Senate after the expiration of the person’s term of office.”
• Proposition 4: “The constitutional amendment authorizing the Legislature to require a court to provide notice to the attorney general of a challenge to the constitutionality of a state statute and authorizing the Legislature to prescribe a waiting period before the court may enter a judgment holding the statute unconstitutional.”
• Proposition 5: “The constitutional amendment on professional sports team charitable foundations conducting charitable raffles.”
• Proposition 6: “The constitutional amendment authorizing the Legislature to provide for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of all or part of the market value of the residence homestead of the surviving spouse of a first responder who is killed or fatally injured in the line of duty.”
• Proposition 7: “The constitutional amendment relating to legislative authority to permit credit unions and other financial institutions to award prizes by lot to promote savings.”
Registered and eligible voters in Mineral and across Palo Pinto County can vote early Oct. 23-Nov. 3 at either the Palo Pinto County Elections Office, 435 Oak St. in Palo Pinto, or at the county’s annex in downtown Mineral Wells, 109 N. Oak Ave.
Voting dates and times are:
Palo Pinto County Elections Office
Oct. 23-27 – 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Oct. 30-Nov. 3 – 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 26 – 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 28 – 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 31 – 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 2 – 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
Mineral Wells Annex Building
Oct. 23-27 – 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Oct. 30 – Nov. 3 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 26 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 28, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 31, 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 2, 7 a.m.-7 p.m.