Administrators from the City of Wellman filed the necessary paperwork recently that will include a measure on the May ballot to enact a sales tax on goods sold in that city’s limits. City Administrator Donna DeBusk told the Brownfield News that the issue has been discussed for several years and the Wellman City Council voted unanimously to seek the additional tax revenue.

A public forum was hosted in Wellman in December to discuss the matter, but no community members attended besides the council. The item also was included on the agenda of the city council’s January meeting, with time allotted for public comment. Again, no one attended.

Wellman residents were notified of the proposed sales tax via email and with their December utility bills, DeBusk said. Texas imposes 6.25 percent state sales and use tax on all retail sales, leases and rentals of most goods, as well as taxable services.

Local taxing jurisdictions (cities, counties, special purpose districts and transit authorities) can also impose up to 2 percent sales and use tax for a maximum combined rate of 8.25 percent. However, at the time being, there are no vendors in Wellman that sell items that would qualify for the tax.

“We have someone who is going to put in a store and restaurant that will qualify for the tax,” DeBusk said. “The store will be too close to our schools to sell beer or wine, but they will have tobacco products and other goods available at a convenience store. We know we’re not going to generate a whole lot of money, but even a few hundred dollars a year will go a long way in our small city.” The election is slated for May 4.

DEMOGRAPICS FOR WELLMAN

The 2000 census showed that there were 203 people living in Wellman. Of that 74 households, there were 56 families living in the city. Of those 203 citizens, 83.74% White, 2.46% Native American, 11.82% from other races, and 1.97% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 29.06% of the population.

Wellman’s median income was $50,833, the median income for a family was $55,357. A breakdown between males and females shows that males have a median income of $28,750 versus $32,188 for females. The city has a per capita income  of $15,757. About 18.8% of families and 22.0% of the population live below the poverty line. which including 34.9% under the age of eighteen and 13.3% of those sixty-five or over.

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