Cove Voting

Copperas Cove residents walk out of the Copperas Cove Civic Center after voting Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017. Tuesday’s ballots contained local races for Cove, Gatesville and Nolanville voters and state constitutional propositions for all state voters.

Eric J. Shelton | Herald

As the Municipal Development District votes went, so did the various elections in the city of Copperas Cove.

It appears as if those who were against Proposition A did well in Tuesday’s election.

Proposition A, as worded on the ballot, had called for: “The authorizing the creation of the Copperas Cove Municipal Development District and the imposition of a sales and use tax at the rate of three-eighth percent for the purpose of financing development projects beneficial to the district.”

The proposition was defeated by voters 1,021-524.

Municipal Development District sign

Signs like this were visible in Copperas Cove prior to the Nov. 7, 2017, election.

Council candidates Marc Payne and Charlie Youngs both campaigned against the proposal.

Payne finished second in the City of Copperas Council Place 6 with more than 40 percent of the vote. He will face off against John Hull in December for the council seat.

Youngs defeated incumbent Matthew Russell, 720-567 in Place 7.

Payne campaigned against the proposition from the start.

“It was voted down by such a wide margin because people want primary, skilled jobs with higher pay,” Payne said Tuesday night. “We also want less waste.”

Youngs also said the MDD issue had a lot to do with the voting.

If approved, the MDD would not have been funded until the Economic Development Corporation was dissolved. That would have taken a separate election.

Council members David Morris and Russell were two who brought the issue to the forefront.

“I am surprised with the 2-to-1 total on the MDD proposal,” Morris said Wednesday morning. “There was a lot of misinformation spread about this topic, and I feel that if we had done a better job of educating the voters on this topic it could have had a different outcome.

“I have heard stories of people thinking it was a forced annexation thing. That taxes were going up or that this was going to be a slush fund for the city. All issues that I personally tried to combat but obviously was unsuccessful in that.”

Morris said he still believes in economic development using a tool like the MDD.

“I still feel that we should add additional tools to the economic development tool bag and the soonest we could revisit this would be a year from now,” Morris said.

Under the current Texas structure, the sales tax is 8.25 percent, of which the state gets 6.25 percent. The remaining 2 percent amount is considered the local option. The economic development portion is three-eighths of 1 percent of sales and use taxes.

The primary purposes of an EDC is to create or retain primary jobs. A MDD is a special purpose district created for the purpose of generating economic development and growth opportunities within the boundaries of the district. The MDD would allow a government to use tax dollars for quality of life projects such as parks and sidewalks. | 254-501-7464

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