Cameron County Assistance District
What are among the greatest needs of the rural residents of Cameron County?
Many neighborhoods in the rural areas have been asking for street lights to be installed in their communities.
Can Cameron County assist the rural residents in bringing services into their rural neighborhoods?
Yes, The County has organized an election to allow the rural residents to provide a funding source to implement a rural street light infrastructure program.
How can the rural residents fund a rural infrastructure program that could include rural street lights?
The County’s rural residents could elect to create a County Assistance District to address the needs of the people who live in the rural areas.
What is a county assistance district?
A county assistance district is a governmental body created through an election by a majority vote of the registered voters within a described area. Registered voters decide on whether to implement a sales tax on eligible sales within the district to fund improvements or programs.
How can the sales tax revenues be used?
A district may use funds in the rural areas for the following purposes:
(1) the provision of services that benefit the public health or welfare, including the provision of street lights, mosquito spraying, disaster response and fire prevention services;
(2) the construction, maintenance, or improvement of roads;
(3) the provision of law enforcement and detention services;
(4) the maintenance or improvement of libraries, museums, parks, or other recreational facilities; or
(5) the promotion of economic development and tourism.
Who can vote on this district referendum?
Only those registered voters who live in the district boundaries.
What are the district boundaries?
The district is county-wide in rural unincorporated areas except for those areas that are within territories of any one of the 17 cities, towns, or villages within the county. Those living with in the cities of Brownsville, Harlingen, San Benito, Los Fresnos, La Feria, Port Isabel, Ranch Viejo, City of South Padre Island, Laguna Vista, Bayview, Combes, Primera, Santa Rosa, Los Indios, Rio Hondo, Rangerville, Palm Valley and Indian Lake cannot vote on the measure.
When Can I vote?
Election Day is November 7, 2017. Early voting will be held in the days prior to Election Day. A listing of polling places where you can cast your vote will be published in the Brownsville Herald and Valley Morning Star and also on the Cameron County website: http://co.cameron.tx.us/administration/elections_voter_registration/index.php
How much will that sales tax be?
The district is proposing a 2 cent sales tax. This is the same rate levied by most cities in the county and the maximum allowed is 8.25%. If you made a $10.00 purchase of products eligible for sales tax you would pay a total of $10.83, the same amount as you would pay in the cities of Brownsville, Harlingen, and most other cities in the county.
What is the amount of the estimated eligible sales within the district?
The State Comptroller’s Office estimates that the eligible sales in the proposed rural district could total as much as $47,500,000 in sales which could generate up to $950,000 annually for rural improvements.
For more information contact:
David A. Garcia, County Administrator
1100 E. Monroe St.
Brownsville, Texas 78520