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Council race, sales tax hike in special elections

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The Ellis County Press

MIDLOTHIAN – Three candidates have filed to run for the vacant Place 1 city council seat in a special election to replace Dusty Fryer, who moved outside of the Midlothian city limits, but there’s a sales tax increase election in Garrett, beer and wine on the DeSoto and Italy ballots and a myriad of constitutional amendments slated for Tuesday, Nov. 3.

Midlothian City Council

Former mayor pro-tem Jamie Wickliffe, newcomer Dustin Mikel and recently annexed resident Bill Redding are vying for the seat left vacant by Fryer.

Redding ran in May’s regular city council election but lost to incumbent Steve Massey. An ally of councilmen Ken Chambers and Dr. Hank Miller, Redding is seeking to become a crucial third anti-establishment vote on the council.

Wickliffe, first elected to public office when she was 22, is making a comeback after stepping down in 2001.

DeSoto Beer & Wine

A local option election in the southern Dallas County city of DeSoto will seek to allow voters to buy beer and wine for off-premise consumption.

Ovilla Municipal Development District
Mayor Bill Vansyckle and the Ovilla City Council will hold a series of town hall meetings to educate the public about their special election that seeks to create a municipal development district and a sales tax to fund it.

"The Municipal Development District will help shift some of the tax burden on the Ovilla citizens from their property tax to sales tax," Vansyckle said.

"The small sales tax will now be collected in our [Extra-Territorial Jurisdiction] area. Ovilla would then be able to collect tax on the firework vendors and others.

"I remind you that if Ovilla did not pick up the small addition to the sales tax it could later be taken by Ellis County with no benefit to Ovilla. Any additional questions please ask and yes Ovilla will host a town hall meeting soon."

Garrett Sales Tax Hike

Faced with the closure of one of the town’s gas stations, the tiny town of Garrett, located north of Ennis, will ask its 500 citizens to vote in a sales tax increase to pay for roads and street repair.

Emergency Services District

The rural fire departments in the Midlothian and Ovilla area, which comprise Emergency Services District No. 2 (there are nine districts in all), will ask taxpayers to fund a sales tax increase to fund its operations rather than rely solely on property taxes.

ESDs in Texas were created to provide fire services in rural areas and non-incorporated areas and by law, the property tax rate cannot exceed 10 cents per $100 of property valuation.

Board members of the nine ESDs are appointed by the four elected county commissioners. Only residents of ESD No. 2 will vote on the sales tax increase.

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