Half Cent Sales Tax Corp.'s budget includes airport runway reconstruction

Published on Wednesday, 10 July 2013 00:34 - Written by By Dayna Worchel dworchel@tylerpaper.com

Half-cent sales tax projects for the upcoming fiscal year could include airport runway reconstruction at Tyler Pounds Regional Airport and sidewalk and road improvements in the city after the Half Cent Sales Tax Corporation approved the 2013-14 fiscal year budget on Tuesday.

The Half-Cent Sales Tax Corporation approved a $24.3 million budget on Tuesday, which will fund about 12 half-cent sales tax projects in the 2013-14 fiscal year.

City Engineer Carter Delleney said at the meeting there would be $26.1 million in available monies from half-cent sales tax revenues for the upcoming fiscal year.

The budget that board members approved on Tuesday will go before the Tyler City Council for its approval at the July 24 council meeting, and there will be a 60-day public comment period following council approval, Delleney said.

“We will be working on 12 total projects in 2013-2014, and seven of those have already been under design and some are under construction,” Delleney told board members. Included in the seven are the R.W. Fair Parking Garage, to be at Broadway and Elm streets and improvements to Palace, 26th and Grand streets in the Texas College area.

Many of the city’s capital improvement projects are funded through the half-cent sales tax program that voters approved in 1995 as a way to fund capital infrastructure projects that enhance the community and attract economic development opportunities, Assistant City Manager Susan Guthrie has said.

The goal of the half-cent sales tax is to lower the tax rate, attract businesses and build infrastructure, including parks.

In November 1995, voters elected to adopt the One-Half Cent Sales and Use Tax within the city of Tyler for public improvements to include public safety, streets, traffic control, airport, water utilities, parks and drainage for the promotion and development of new and expanded business enterprise as allowed in Texas law, according to the city’s website.

The engineering department manages about $13 million in capital projects each year. The half-cent sales and use tax generates between $11 million and $12 million each year, Delleney has said. The costs for most of these capital projects are projected into the next 10 years.

In other news, board members approved the Tyler-based Reynolds & Kay to lay asphalt on about 43 city streets at a cost of $2.1 million.

Construction will begin this month and should be completed in October. The streets scheduled to get asphalt include Seventh Street from Talley to Vine streets, Grande Boulevard from Old Jacksonville Highway to Hollytree Drive, and North Broadway Avenue, from Gentry Parkway to Goodman Street.