Ellis County sees surplus 5 years after sales-tax increase

A vote from more than five years ago has Ellis County in solid position, seeing a surplus of more than $1.4 million.

In May 2013, voters in Ellis County approved an increase of the local sales tax by half of a percent. That tax was supposed to be used to build a new fire and EMS building, as well as to make renovations to the Ellis County Courthouse.

The tax increase was estimated to bring in $14 million to $15 million over five years. After five years, the tax increase actually brought in more than $16 million.

The big question now: What will the county do with the extra cash?

"I think the county commissioners really have a commitment to doing some additional projects on the buildings that the voters approved the sales tax for," Ellis County Administrator Phillip Smith says.

Smith says an example of an additional project with the extra money would be adding more cameras at the Ellis County Jail. At the end of February, commissioners will begin discussing what to do with the extra money.