On Wednesday, three Sherman City Council candidates answered questions at the Municipal Election Forum hosted by North Texas Young Professionals. District 2 candidates Commie Linson and Josh Stevenson participated alongside the at-large, Place 1 seat candidate, Ronald Rose. Rose’s opponent, Willie Steele, did not participate in the forum.
The following represents the third question asked of the candidates, and their responses. Candidates were not given this question prior to the forum.
The only revenue the city receives is from taxes. If elected do you believe the city will have to increase the property tax rate during your term? If yes, where would you allocate the extra revenue? If no, then how would you propose the city come up with the necessary funds to make expenses?
Linson: “No, I don’t think that it is necessary for us as a city to raise our taxes. We have a lot of plans going into affect, a lot of changes that are going into the city. And with the way that we have budgeted for this next year and the plans that the city has, we will be able to meet any and all necessary changes that we have.
“And as SEDCO continues to bring in industries and bring in businesses, we will continue to grow. And as we add new homes, which bring in taxes for us by new residents moving in. … For every family home we build, we add more taxes or more money into the city without raising our own taxes that we have right now.
“So, no I’m not one that believes in raising taxes. And also to give you a really informed answer to this, I would have to know where the current city council stands. I don’t want to go out and say something that I can’t make happen. Or realize that it’s impossible to do.
“So, where I stand right now is I just could not see us raising taxes, no.”
Stevenson: “The City of Sherman is well on its way to having its first hundred million dollar year in municipal government and that seems like enough to me. I don’t know about you but that seems like a good amount.
“Some people think that we pay too much taxes now, and we should pay less. And some people want to make a pledge that I’ll never raise taxes or I think we should pay more.
“I think taxes should be an investment, not an expense. Our tax dollars that we spend should be spent for down the road, for the long term. So, if that means that building something now costs $1 but it saves us $10 down the road, I’m for that.
“I’m for saving money down the road, long-term. But I’m not for raising taxes so we can have frivolous programs. Our tax dollars need to go to pay for roads, for water, for sewers, for the basic services like police and fire that you expect from your city.
“As a city councilman, I will make sure the city pays money and the funds that we expend are to take care of those basic city services and use every dime of your tax dollar as wisely as possible.”
Rose: “First off, no I would not raise taxes.
“Actually, we could go to a sales tax. There’s multiple things we could do to avoid a property tax increase or tax increase for the Sherman citizens. I’m pretty sure there’s things that I don’t know of now that we could change it around. We can take funds from other places and move it around to where we need it.
“When I get in there, I will figure it out. But no I will not be adding any more taxes to you guys.”