Breckenridge Texan

Stephens County Commissioners propose county sales tax

Stephens County Commissioners propose county sales tax
January 24
15:10 2024

By Carla McKeown/Breckenridge Texan

Businesses located in the unincorporated areas of Stephens County could be required to collect up to 2% more in taxes if local voters approve a sales tax that the County Commissioners proposed at their regular meeting on Monday, Jan. 22.

Additionally, at the meeting the commissioners took care of other business and honored State Rep. Glenn Rogers for his service to House District 60, which includes Stephens, Palo Pinto and Parker counties. Click here to read more about the resolution honoring Rogers.

Sales Tax

Stephens County Commissioner David Fambro led the discussion on implementing a county consumption tax, aka sales tax. Currently, businesses collect 6.25% of qualified sales for the State of Texas’ sales tax. Businesses in the City of Breckenridge collect an additional 2% sales tax, for a total of 8.25% that is sent to the State Comptroller’s office, which then returns the 2% to the City.

Stephens County Precinct 1 Commissioner David Fambro discusses the proposed county sales tax with the commissioners court at the Jan. 22 meeting. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

However, in areas of Stephens County that are outside the City of Breckenridge’s city limits, businesses collect only the 6.25% for the State of Texas because the county doesn’t have an established sales tax. In order to implement a sales tax, the proposal must be voted on by Stephens County residents. If approved, businesses in the unincorporated areas of the county would collect and additional sales tax, up to 2%, for a total of up to 8.25%.

After discussing the sales tax topic, the commissioners voted to retain the services of Jim Allison with the Allison Bass law firm for assistance with getting the item on the November 2024 election ballot. In order to collect the tax in the unincorporated areas of the county, a special taxing district must be established.

Fambro and County Judge Michael Roach said that by implementing a county sales tax, the commissioners would be able to lower the property tax in the county.

“I wouldn’t expect this to be millions of dollars,” Fambro said. “I expect it to be, you know, tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. But it’s just an additional source of revenue that takes the burden off the property owner, from my point of view.”

Stephens County Treasurer Kelsey Cornwall said the sales tax would “level the playing field” between businesses in the City and the County.

“It levels the playing field between the businesses that are in the city limits and they have to charge that tax, versus the businesses that are outside the city limits and they don’t have to charge that tax,” Cornwall said. “And, so in theory, the business outside the city limits, it has a 2% discount … to attract customers, and it’s a disadvantage to the city business owners.”

New Vehicles

The commissioners approved the purchase of two new vehicles for the county.

Stephens County Sheriff Kevin Roach talks to the commissioners and treasurer about the purchase of a new patrol vehicle. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

The Sheriff’s Office will purchase a new patrol vehicle from Bayer Chevrolet with money from Texas Senate Bill 22, which was passed by the legislature last year. It established a grant program that provides financial assistance to sheriff’s departments, constable’s offices and district and county attorney’s offices in eligible counties, including Stephens County, to ensure professional law enforcement and legal  representation of the people’s interests throughout the state.

The purchase was approved by the commissioners for a price of $49,899.14.

The commissioners also approved the purchase of a van from Lawrence Hall auto sales for use by the county. The van primarily will be used by the AgriLife Extension office for transporting students to 4-H and other events. However, the van also will be used — when it’s available — by other county employees/officials who are traveling out of town for training, conferences, etc.

“This transportation vehicle is going to be used for AgriLife Extension, 4-H, FFA. Those folks are using personal vehicles, parents’ vehicles for county programs,” County Judge Michael Roach said. “This would allow them to take all the kids in one vehicle driven by an AgriLife agent, which is the safest, really most responsible, way to do that. But also it’ll be available for the county to use in other things, whether it be transporting inmates, if that’s ever the case, or whatever. So it’s multi-use.”

Other business

The County Commissioners also approved the following items:

  • The sale of a county-owned front-end loader
  • A resolution setting the date of the Republican and Democratic parties’ joint primary election for March 5 and a run-off date, if necessary, for May 28
  • The renewal of the I3 Verticals agreement for software, hosting and technical support services
  • The appointment of Stephens County Treasurer Kelsey Cornwall as the budget officer for the county


Cutline, top photo: The Stephens County Commissioners Court discusses a proposed county sales tax for businesses in the county that are outside the Breckenridge city limits. Pictured from left are Eric O’Dell, Kelsey Cornwall, Will Warren, Mark McCullough, David Fambro and Michael Roach. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)



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