Dear Editor,

This November 5th (early voting actually started October 21st) Texans will go to the polls once again. Among the items that you will see on the ballot will be Proposition 5, which is a Constitutional dedication of sporting goods sales tax to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Historical Commission.

I urge you to vote YES to Proposition 5.

Voting YES to Prop 5 will not increase your taxes or create a new tax, and anyone that tells you otherwise is either uninformed or lying. If Proposition 5 passes, the current sales tax on sporting goods, which has been in place for years, will not increase. It will simply be directed to the state agencies that protect our parks, wildlife, and historical sites.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will get 93% of the sales tax revenues, and the Texas Historical Commission will get 7% of the sales tax revenues. Again, no new taxes and no tax increases here, just a dedication of an existing tax to conserve Texas’ most at risk assets instead of allowing politicians to spend it as they see fit.

Nov. 5 early voting

A major role of Texas Parks and Wildlife in our state is protecting our state parks. Visitation levels at state parks have risen dramatically over the past 10 years, increasing the operational costs of our parks and resulting in many needed upgrades.

Palo Pinto County currently has two state parks (Lake Mineral Wells State Park and Trailway and Possum Kingdom State Park), and our third park, Palo Pinto Mountains State Park outside of Strawn, will be open soon. These parks are important resources to our community, providing recreation for our citizens and bringing visitors (and their money) into our county. A YES vote for Proposition 5 will help ensure that the state parks in our county can continue to provide the services and facilities that benefit so many Texans.

In addition to our state parks, Mineral Wells and Palo Pinto County have a great history, and we should all work to protect that history. The Texas Historical Commission is integral in helping us preserve these historic treasures and use them to create economic opportunities. A YES vote for Proposition 5 will give much needed funds to the Texas Historical Commission so that it can continue its work of conserving Texas history, and more importantly Palo Pinto County history, for future generations.

Most propositions or candidates that you are asked to vote for are partisan or generate some type of controversy. Proposition 5 is neither. I know that we all care about our state parks, historical buildings, and other assets that are served by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Historical Commission.

Dedicating the sporting goods sales tax to these two agencies, thereby allowing them to improve and preserve the natural resources and historic treasures of our state and county, shouldn’t be a point of controversy. Please vote YES to Proposition 5!

Rhett Warren, Mineral Wells

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