Residents in Palmhurst have elected Tuesday to continue funding the city’s police department for another 10 years.
According to results from the Hidalgo County Elections Department, nearly 88 percent of voters in Palmhurst cast their ballots in favor of Proposition A, which maintains the city’s Crime Control and Prevention District through a half-cent sales tax.
The district oversees the police department and was set to expire at the end of 2019. With its renewal, the sales tax will maintain in effect for an additional 10 years through 2029.
The decision made by Palmhurst residents means a difference of about $600,000 in the police department budget. With an annual budget of approximately $1.4 million, it would account for over 40 percent of what they have been able to use for the last ten years.
“This covers almost half of what we [the police department] have to have,” Palmhurst Police Chief Michael Vela said. “Without it, it would be very hurtful to the community and to the department.”
To educate citizens on the vote, the city held two public hearings during election season.
Vela thanked voters for helping the proposition pass.
“This is a sales tax so it does not affect property taxes,” Vela said. “A lot of times, people have misconceptions, sometimes when they see something they don’t usually read the whole thing. We’re just trying to educate them – this is not a property tax, this is only a sales tax.”
Currently, the city police department is gearing up for their annual toy drive. Residents can drop off a new, unused toy at the police department or at the city’s Applebee’s, H-E-B, Walgreens and R.V. parks through December 15.
The toys will be donated to students at Hurla M. Midkiff Elementary School sometime next month, Vela said.