Tablet Local

Tarrant County residents asked to approve a wide range of bond proposals and taxes

The highly publicized and controversial run for Texas governor and other state elections, like the bid for Sen. Wendy Davis’ seat in the Texas Legislature, are stealing the show in political ads and in the media for the Nov. 4 election.

But Tarrant County residents in several cities are also being asked to vote on local propositions that will affect their communities for years to come, such as Arlington’s bond package, which is the largest in the city’s history, and the funding for Fort Worth’s $450 million multi-purpose arena.

Early voting ends Friday, with early voting locations open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. during the week.

Arlington: Residents will vote on four bond propositions totaling $236 million.

The propositions include $160 million for street improvements, $60 million for parks and recreation projects, $9.78 million for fire department facilities and $6 million in library facilities. Proposed projects include a new downtown fire station, updating the city’s Fire Training Center and a new library.

The bond proposals are not expected to increase the city’s property tax rate.

Azle: Azle residents are being asked to re-authorize the city’s local sales and use tax at the rate of 0.25 percent to continue to repair and maintain municipal streets. If not approved, the fund will expire in four years.

Forest Hill: Forest Hill residents are also being asked to re-authorize the city’s local sales and use tax at the rate of 0.25 percent to continue to repair and maintain municipal streets. If not approved, the fund will expire in four years.

Fort Worth: Fort Worth residents are voting on three propositions that would help fund the $450 million, 14,000-seat multipurpose arena and sports facility proposed for the Cultural District at Harley Avenue and Gendy Street.

A nonprofit group, Event Facilities Fort Worth chaired by Ed Bass, has pledged to raise at least half of the money, while the rest would come from public sources.

The first proposition is an admission tax on each ticket to events held at the venue, at a rate not to exceed 10 percent of the price of the ticket. The second proposition is a tax on each stall or pen used by livestock during an event held at the venue. The tax cannot exceed $20 per stall or pen for any event, and some events could last for several weeks. The third proposition is a parking tax at the facility, not to exceed $5 for each vehicle.

The public portion of the project would also be funded with the state’s and city’s portion of the hotel/motel tax within 3 miles of the arena.

Reno: Residents are being asked to adopt a local sales and use tax of 0.25 percent to maintain and repair municipal streets.

Richland Hills Crime Control and Prevention District: Richland Hills residents are voting on continuing the Crime Control and Prevention District for 10 years. The district, which collects a sales tax of 3/8 cent, funds crime prevention in the community. Approval of the proposition also continues the sales tax rate for 10 years.

Aledo school district: Residents of the school district will vote on a $61.5 million bond package that includes a new elementary school, renovations and additions to Coder Elementary and to McAnally Intermediate, the purchase of new school buses and technology and security upgrades.

The projected tax rate increase of the bond is 0.0958 per $100 valuation, or $18.78 per month for an average-priced home in the district of $235,268.

Birdville school district: School district residents are asked to approve a $163.2 million bond that includes technology and security upgrades and rebuilding three schools: North Richland Middle, Birdville Elementary and the Academy at West Birdville.

This is the second time in less than two years that the Birdville district has tried to pass a bond proposal. A proposal was defeated in May 2013.

According to the plan, the tax increase for an average home in the district, valued at about $120,000, would be about $3 a month.

Keller school district: Residents are asked to approve a $169.5 million bond program that includes renovations and additions to South Keller Intermediate School to turn it into a career training facility for high school students; a new a fifth- through eighth-grade campus; an elementary school; a second early learning center; a renovation and addition to Keller High School and additions to Hillwood Middle School and Parkwood Hill Middle School.

The district’s tax rate — already at the $1.54 maximum allowed without voter approval — would not increase.

This report includes information from Star-Telegram archives.

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