But the reality is, whatever is expected from government comes with a price tag. The hard rub comes in when government fails to use the taxpayers’ hard earned money wisely.
Mineral Wells voters will have a say over an eighth-percent diversion of sales tax receipts to help with the renovation and eventual reopening of the Baker Hotel. There can certainly be an argument against — why is the city getting involved in a commercial enterprise?
It happens everywhere. Metropolitan areas build and invest in attractions on an almost daily basis. If not proposing something, then certainly involved in a project.
What the city has proposed is diverting sales tax money to the hotel project, claiming it is not a new tax — and it’s not.
The money is sales tax revenue that has been collected by the state, county and city since the inception of the sales tax. It would be “painless.”
The only caveat — would the loss of 12 percent in sales tax lead to a raise somewhere else or a cut in services?
Even if it did, the taxes collected once the hotel opens would more than offset any losses. The revitalization of the Baker Hotel will benefit everyone in not only Mineral Wells, but the county as well. Additional tax revenue, jobs, tourism, increased exposure and the attraction of new business in downtown Mineral Wells — all positives.
With the work developers have done to put together a way to get the Baker in shape, with tax incentives and savings, it is not altogether unreasonable for city residents to chip into the pot, to help.
The election is near. There will always be naysayers, those who will fight against any proposal — and we certainly understand. But this is something that goes far beyond a diversion of tax dollars to support a commercial project.
The results of this election will be felt for many years into the future. It will once again define the city of Mineral Wells.
All in all, it’s a small price to pay.
The Grand Ole Lady has slept far too long, it’s time she awoke and once more beckoned visitors to her bosom.