Parrish: No property tax increase to offset sales tax drop - FOX34 Lubbock

Parrish: No property tax increase to offset sales tax drop

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With college students out of town and many businesses closed, revenue from sales taxes will likely be down significantly next couple months. 

Lubbock County Judge Curtis Parrish says he will not increase property taxes to make up for the drop in revenue. 

Parrish says March's returns were a little higher than February, continuing a trend of several months with strong sales tax revenue. But this month and the next few will likely show a major drop compared to the same time last few years.

It's the fall Parrish says he is worried about. If the economy is not able to recover in time, or if health mandates further affect schools and businesses later this year, he says the budget will have to shrink.

"I'm at the place right now where we probably need to downsize some of our government spending -- a little bit -- to accommodate that," Parrish said. "I don't want to have the burden of our lower sales tax to be thrust back onto the property tax owners."

County commissioners will begin the budget process for next year in July. It is set for adoption before the end of September.

Lubbock State Representative Dustin Burrows said last week it's clear government can't fix all the economic problems. Burrows chairs The House Ways and Means Committee. It focuses on raising revenue. With non-essential businesses closed, there's little of that to go around. He warns that the state government is already looking at cuts to the state budget for next session. 

 "We hear stories about people being sympathetic towards the government for not having enough money but their sympathies are in the wrong place," Burrows said. "Taxpayers don't have enough money to pay those taxes. If we are going to expect people to cut into their own personal and business lives, government will have to do that as well."
Click here - for last week's report on state lawmakers' plans to reopen the economy.
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