Thanks, voters

Rockdale residents wade through complex situation to aid our town
It’s customary to thank voters for their efforts after many elections but those who waded through one of the more complex ballots in Rockdale’s history Saturday, and in early voting, deserve an extra pat on the back.

Voters were asked to eliminate one sales tax and one development district, create another development district and—oh yes, by the way—elect a mayor and two council members.

And you voted on up to three different ballot questions depending on where you lived within the old new city limits, new city limits, extra-territorial jurisdiction or planet of your choice.

Well, maybe not the last one. But it was as confusing a situation as Rockdale city voters have ever faced. And that’s not anyone’s fault. There was no other way to set this one up. You know the old cliché about omelets.

Here’s what will happen now that the voters have had their say:

• The Rockdale Hospital District will no longer collect any sales tax.

• Rockdale’s new Municipal Development District (MDD) will now collect all the sales tax which has been going to the hospital district.

• The talk of “new city limits” or “old city limits” ceases, at least so far as the city in concerned.

• Rockdale now has a revenue stream it has needed for many years to try and attract jobs to our area.

It’s difficult to predict just how much will be available for the new, the one and the only MDD to use but if collections stayed the same as over the past year it would be in the neighborhood of $265,000.

Let’s not forget a couple of factors. The hospital district board voluntarily elected to give up the rest of the sales tax. That’s a tax, by the way, voluntarily imposed by Rockdale citizens to help out Richards Memorial Hospital.

And now those citizens have come to the aid of their community again.—M.B.

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2010-05-13 digital edition

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