Russell County residents to vote on half-cent sales tax

russell co econo devo and cvb logoBy BECKY KISER
Hays Post

RUSSELL— Russell County residents will go to the polls April 1 to decide whether to renew the county’s half-cent sales tax for economic development and capital improvements.

The sales tax was first approved by voters 10 years ago.

“Originally, economic development was funded by levied tax dollars, ” said Janae Talbott, executive director of Russell County Economic Development and Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Now, funding is through this sales tax so it applies equally to everyone.”

“Each incorporated city in Russell County receives a portion of the half-cent sales tax, depending on the amount of sales tax received in that city for that year,” Talbott added. “Each city can utilize the money for local economic development programs or capital improvements.”

The Russell County Eco Devo Micro-Loan Program, funded by the sales tax, has provided more than $339,000 to Russell County businesses for startup, expansion or retention, Talbott said.

“I’m proud to say our micro-loan program has helped create or retain more than 100 jobs in Russell County,” she said.

“Some of the capital improvements we’ve made include the purchase of the EMS and Economic Development/CVB buildings, and buying land near the 4-H Building at the fairgrounds. We also expect to help with the expenses of the proposed courthouse addition,” Talbott said.