In 1991, the Texas Legislature approved language for the 4B sales tax. The 4B tax authorizes cities to utilize the revenues from this tax to fund civic and commercial projects. These projects include, but are not limited to:
- Professional and amateur sports facilities
- Parks and event facilities
- Infrastructure and roadway improvements
- Entertainment and tourist facilities
- Museums, tourist destinations, and other public arts projects
The purpose of the 4B tax is to give municipalities an opportunity to fund, build, and maintain long-term projects, which can improve the quality of life within the community. Many cities throughout Texas us this tool to improve quality of life in their communities.
In 1999, 61% of Midland’s voters approved for the City of Midland to increase the sales tax ¼ of a percent to 8.25%. The revenues of the sales tax increase were allocated to fund the construction of the Scharbauer Sports Complex.
Construction of the two complexes began in 2001. Midland’s new professional baseball stadium opened its gates in April 2002, and the football stadium was completed in August 2002. Recently, additional improvements have been made to the surrounding area.
The Scharbauer Sports Complex is now host to Midland Independent School District, the Midland RockHounds, the Midland-Odessa Sockers, two semi-professional football teams, various concerts, and a host of other activities.
The 4B sales tax has made several significant impacts in our community .
- The Scharbauer Sports Complex will be paid off 17 years early. Initially, the debt for the construction of the facility was intended to be paid off in 30 years.
- When the City Council chose to refinance the loan in 2006 (moving the payoff from 2032 to 2022), the City of Midland saved $12 million dollars in finance charges.
- The entire note will be paid off in 2017. The additional savings will be between $3-$4 million dollars in interest payments.
- Due to stronger than anticipated sales tax revenues, the 4B sales tax generated more than initially expected. It was originally intended to generate $2-$3 million per year. Instead, it has, on average, generated roughly $10 million annually for our community.
By choosing to continue the Midland 4B sales tax again in 2017, Midlanders can expect to see an even larger return on their investment in the future.
- This is not a new tax. It is simply a vote approving the existing tax rate to continue.
- The majority of these funds will go directly to construction and renovation projects, including parks, roads, and public art.
- The Scharbauer Sports Complex will require a portion of the generated revenue to continue operations and maintenance.
- An estimated 35-40% of this revenue is generated by visitors to Midland.