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Yantis schools improving security; trustees finalizing budgets

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    With the countdown to the start of school ticking ever closer, Yantis Independent School District has been working toward security and facilities improvements and course structuring to meet House Bill 5 requirements and finances.


SSMS new student registration begins this week; teacher report next week

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Sulphur Springs Middle School will be holding new student registration from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays Aug. 4-Aug. 25.


City’s street paving program delayed

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After being focused primarily on the downtown area for the past several years, the city of Sulphur Springs will pay more attention on dips, bumps and potholes in city streets in the coming year.
    In talking about the city’s budget for the next year, City Manager Marc Maxwell said much more attention would be paid to the city’s thoroughfares.
    Before the Oct. 1 start of the new fiscal year, the city plans to begin the annual summer street program that, due to contractor schedules, may be a “fall paving program,” according to Maxwell.
    Contracts were awarded in June for the paving program that will cost the city $119,800. The contract was awarded to Richard Drake Construction.
    Paving materials for the program will cost an additional $794,000.
    Maxwell identified the streets that will be resurfaced this year.
    Those streets include League Street from Main to Industrial, along with Russell Drive, Live Oak Street, Fuller Street, North Davis Street, Morris Drive, Hinnant Street, Kendall Lane, Tomlinson Street and Vonda Drive.
    The streets will receive an overlay, a new surface of plant-mix asphalt, that will result in a very smooth driving surface.
    In the mean time, city crews will continue to stay busy trying to keep up with patching holes in the streets while they wait for the contractor to begin the paving program.

Back to School Sales tax holiday this weekend

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Just in time for the annual rush to get school clothes and supplies stockpiled for the start of school on Aug. 26, the annual sales tax holiday starts Friday and continues through Sunday, Aug. 8.
    With the 8 percent sales tax, shoppers will save $8 in state taxes for every $100 spent during the three-day tax suspension on approved purchases.
    The state law exempts most clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks priced under $100.
    For a complete list of apparel and school supplies that may be purchased tax free, go to the state comptroller's website, www.TexasTaxHoliday.or.
    The Fine Print:
    n Retailers are not required to collect state and local sales or use tax on most footwear and clothing that are sold for less than $100 during the holiday. Exemption certificates are not required. The exemption applies to each eligible item that sells for less than $100, regardless of how many items are sold on the same invoice to a customer. For example, if a customer purchases two shirts for $80 each, then both items qualify for the exemption, even though the customer's total purchase price ($160) exceeds $99.99.
    n The exemption does not apply to the first $99.99 of an otherwise eligible item that sells for more than $99.99. For example, if a customer purchases a pair of pants that costs $110, sales tax is due on the entire $110.
    n The exemption also does not apply to sales of special clothing or footwear that the manufacturer primarily designed for athletic activity or protective use and that is not normally worn except when used for the athletic activity or protective use for which the manufacturer designed the article.
    For example, golf cleats and football pads are primarily designed for athletic activity or protective use and are not normally worn except for those purposes; they do not qualify for the exemption. Tennis shoes, jogging suits and swimsuits, however, are commonly worn for purposes other than athletic activity and qualify for the exemption.
    n Backpacks priced under $100 sold for use by elementary and secondary students are exempt during the sales tax holiday. The exemption includes backpacks with wheels, provided they can also be worn on the back like a traditional backpack, and messenger bags.
    n The exemption does not include items that are reasonably defined as luggage, briefcases, athletic, duffle or gym bags, computer bags, purses or framed backpacks.
    n The sales tax holiday exemption does not extend to rental of clothing or footwear; nor does it apply to alteration (including embroidery) or cleaning services performed on clothes and shoes. Additionally, tax is due on sales of accessories, including jewelry, handbags, purses, briefcases, luggage, umbrellas, wallets, watches and similar items.
    The sales tax holiday weekend begins on Friday and continues through Sunday, Aug. 8.

City council to review proposed 2014-15 budget

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Sulphur Springs City Council members will begin their review of the proposed budget for fiscal year 2014-2015 in a workshop session slated for 6 p.m. Tuesday.
    City Manager Marc Maxwell said the tax rate for the fiscal year, starting Oct. 1, will remain at its current rate of 44-cents per $100 property valuation. The overall property values in the city increased 1.4 percent, according to figures released by Hopkins County Appraisal District last week, and will generate $3,756,497 in tax revenue.
    The proposed budget for the city calls for expenditures and revenues of $27 million.
    In the Tuesday meeting, City Finance Director Peter Karstens will present members with the proposed budget for their review and the council will meet again next week to consider formalizing the budget.
    In the coming fiscal year, the city manger said the city's focus will move from the downtown area.
    “We are going to increase our efforts on the streets,” Maxwell said.
    The final city budget must be approved by the end of September and will become effective on Oct. 1.

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