Lakeway voters will decide May 11 whether the city should renew a portion of its sales tax that helps pay for road maintenance.
The quarter cent tax was first approved in 2001 and has been renewed every four years since. Lakeway has an 8.25 percent sales tax.
The tax provides about $400,000 annually and has raised more than $1.3 million over the years, going primarily toward resurfacing roads, City Manager Steve Jones said.
Voters have approved the sales tax by large margins. City Secretary Donna Boyle said about 70 percent of those casting ballots in 2001 favored the tax. In 2005, about 78 percent of voters supported the tax, and in 2009 about 79 percent favored the tax, she said.
This year, with nothing else on the ballot — officials canceled elections for four City Council seats as only one candidate emerged for each position — city leaders are concerned about the support for the sales tax.
“We do not want to lose the road maintenance,” Council Member Dee Ann Burns-Farrell said. “That would be very bad for the residents of Lakeway. This is not a new tax. That needs to be in capital letters. You either renew it or lose.”
She said council members will speak to residents’ groups in the weeks ahead to get word out about the tax.
“I’m not a tax guy,” Mayor Dave DeOme said. “I try to keep taxes down as best I can. This makes sense. If this was defeated, you’re still going to need your roads maintained. My reaction is people get it.”
He said if the road maintenance sales tax doesn’t pass, city officials may consider raising property taxes by as much as a cent and a half to pay for road maintenance. Lakeway’s current property tax rate is 18.15 cents per $100 in assessed value, and the average city property tax bill is $698.75.
LAKEWAY SALES TAX
6.25% state of Texas
1% city of Lakeway
0.5% for reduction of property taxes
0.25% for maintenance and repair of city streets
0.25% Lake Travis Community Library District
Source: City of Lakeway