Crime Tax Election - November 3, 2020
Crime Control District Sales Tax Vote – Hire, Equip and Train Police for 20 Years
Whether the City of Grand Prairie, Texas Crime Control and Prevention District should be continued for twenty (20) years and the crime control and prevention district sales tax should be continued for twenty (20) years.
In May 2007, 80 percent of voters approved a Grand Prairie Crime Control and Prevention District ¼ cent sales tax (Crime Tax) to build the new Public Safety Building (PSB).
In 2012, 86 percent of voters approved extending the Crime Tax for 10 years. In 2013, because the amount of money the city collects from the Crime Tax is more than the debt payments on the PSB, 86 percent of the voters approved adding the ability to hire and equip police officers.
The PSB will be paid off in 2022. On November 3, 2020, the city is asking voters whether or not to approve extending the existing Crime Control District 1/4 cent sales tax for 20 years. The city plans to use the entire 1/4 cent to hire police officers and pay for their salaries, benefits, equipment and training, once the PSB is paid off.
What Happens if Vote Passes?
If approved, once the PSB is paid off, the entire 1/4 cent sales tax would be used to hire, equip and train police officers for 20 years. The city could continue using the Crime Tax to pay for police officers thus allowing the city’s general fund to be used for other city departments, such as fire, parks, libraries, planning and development.
What Happens if the Vote Fails?
If this Crime Tax is not approved, the city would have to eliminate police and city services to fund police officers, equipment and training, or ask voters to raise property taxes 4-6 cents per $100 of taxable value to fund police officers. The sales tax would reduce from 8.25 percent to 8 percent; and a Crime Tax using sales tax could not be brought back to the voters for three years.
This will not increase the city’s sales tax. It is a continuation of an existing sales tax.
Since this is a sales tax, non-residents who shop in Grand Prairie help pay for police officers.
Grand Prairie’s population has increased by 30,000 residents since 2007 when the Crime Tax was first passed. In 2007, the Police Department employed 223 police officers, or 1.3 officers per 1,000 population. Currently, the department employs 287 officers, or 1.5 officers per 1,000. By adding officers through the Crime Tax, the city can keep up with growth and maintain a 1.5 officer per 1,000 ratio of coverage.