Voters in Bangs will soon be paying a little bit more at checkout when they make purchases eligible for sales tax, but the extra penny on the dollar will provide municipal leaders with another tool — actually, several tools — to develop their community.

Three sales tax propositions were approved by voters in Saturday’s election. One is the one-cent economic development tax that will help generate jobs. Another is a quarter-cent sales tax levy dedicated to street maintenance and repair, a measure similar to one that Blanket voters reauthorized for their city the same day. The third is a quarter-cent sales tax designed to fund specific community projects through a Municipal Development District, and residents of the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction were allowed to participate in this decision.

Separate boards will be appointed to help oversee the use of the economic development and the Municipal Development District, so a lot of work awaits many residents of Bangs — as well as its city council. Meanwhile, Bangs shoppers may not notice the extra tax too much, especially if their buying excursions also take them into Brownwood and Early. Both those cities are already levying the 8.25 percent total sales tax that Bangs will soon be collecting.

Sales taxes are considered regressive taxes, because they are levied on sales of goods instead of a person’s ability to pay. But Texans have come to prefer a higher sales tax to a state income tax, especially when combined with exemptions on most grocery items. One advantage to the municipal sales tax is the fact that non-resident shoppers contribute to local tax revenues whenever they make a purchase.

It will take a few months, if not a few years, for these sales taxes to be implemented and then to build up a sufficient amount to fund desired projects. But the first steps have been taken, and the tools Bangs voters have handed their municipal leaders should begin paying dividends in the near future.

Brownwood Bulletin