Mexico residents have been given a choice to increase the city’s park funding.
The City of Mexico placed a ballot initiative to roll its property tax back by half and put a half-cent sales tax in place for funding the city’s parks.
Mexico’s property tax is currently .20 cents, which may be reduced to .10 cents to impose the half-cent sales tax. Residents will vote August 7.
“Mexico has been transferring general revenue funds to the Parks and Recreation Department to support its needs for years — and it’s been a strain,” Bruce Slagle, Mexico’s city manager said.
Slagle said the city was also receiving grant funding and other revenue to help, but that funding recently dried up. Without the extra assistance, he said supporting the cities 13 parks has really hurt Mexico’s fiscal resources.
The .20 cent property tax now generates $270,000 to the parks for maintaining structures, grounds, and infrastructure. The roll back would reduce park funding from property taxes to $135,000. Slagle said the news sales tax would make the difference plus more.
“It would be an increase in overall funding,” Slagle added.
The new sales tax would provide a net increase of $250,000 towards the parks. Slagle said the City of Mexico transfers $370,000 on average to the park system and reduce transfers from the general fund. Park fees provide about $70,000 and worth of funding.
Rolling back the property tax and setting a half-cent sales tax “should help us take care of these facilities,” he added.