On Tuesday, November 7, voters in Farmersville and Woodlake will have to make two decisions that will affect each city’s economy. The ballot measures are quite similar.
Sales Tax Increase
Farmersville’s residents will have to decide whether they want to add ½ cent to their sales tax, which would affect residents and visitors who shop in the community alike.
According to the ballot measure, the sales tax would be applied to improve the quality of life and essential general city services including 911 emergency medical response, fire department services, police department services including gang prevention, recreational facilities and park and street maintenance.
It is estimated that the sales tax increase would bring in an additional $280,000, annually.
Woodlake has a similar measure on its ballot, although the sales tax proposed would be one percent, generating an additional estimated $430,000.
The use is also similar for quality of life issues including parks and recreation programs, neighborhood police patrol, gang prevention programs, street maintenance; lighting, landscaping, and trails.
Cannabis Business Taxation
The second ballot measure for each is a bit more confusing. Both cities are considering the possibility of allowing cannabis business, i.e. cultivation, within the city limits. The ballot measure is not whether to allow or disallow, but rather to develop taxation should that possibility come to fruition.
The urgency in the matter comes with the possibility of the state, in which voters passed Measure 64 to allow recreational cannabis use throughout the state, designating certain areas for growing. Various jurisdictions can first make that decision for themselves, but if not enough are developed within specific regions, the state can step in force the issue, and without prior taxation measures in place, the city’s would not benefit. This possibility may come as early as the first of the year, when Measure 64 comes into effect.
Therefore, both city councils, which are each continuing to discuss allowing cannabis businesses, wanted to get the taxation allotted. Voting for these measures will only allow the taxation, if each city decides to allow a business, or if the state mandates it.
The measure for each city reads similarly– authorizing a commercial cannabis business tax in the city on commercial cannabis businesses up to $25 per square foot (annually adjusted by CPI) or 10% of gross receipts, to maintain essential public safety and general city services including, but not limited to, police, drug addiction and gang prevention, park maintenance, street maintenance.
These are the maximums allotted by the state. Farmersville estimates a potential $500,000 to $3.5 million taxation earnings, annually.
The potential ballot measures were voted on by each city’s council this summer in order to make the November election. The sales tax measures were a unanimous vote by each council. The cannabis taxation measures each made it to the ballot with a 4-1 vote by each city’s council.
Election mail-in ballots are already being accepted and will be through October 31.
The polls in Farmersville, on election day, November 7, will be located at the Farmersville Community Center, 623 N. Avery.
In Woodlake, the polls will take place at the Woodlake Memorial Building, 355 N. Acacia.