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ESD No. 1 proposes lower tax rate
LA VERNIA -- The Wilson County Emergency Services District No. 1 has proposed an ad valorem tax rate of 8.64 cents per $100 of taxable value. If the board adopts this rate, proposed during an Aug. 16 special meeting, it would mean the fourth straight year in which taxpayers saw the rate decrease.
According to the Wilson County Appraisal District, the average taxable value of residences within the district continues to rise. For 2013, homes had an average taxable value of $182,872.50. Therefore, if the ESD board adopts the 8.64-cent rate, the average tax bill would be $158.
Last year, when homes had an average taxable value of $174,139, the ESD set a tax rate of 8.8 cents per $100 of taxable value. The average tax bill was $153.24.
According to ESD board President Roberta Ensor, the rate would support a $564,010 budget for the 2014 fiscal year. The board is set to formally adopt the budget at its Sept. 12 meeting.
Ensor acknowledged the ESD’s service provider -- the La Vernia Volunteer Fire Department -- for its continued good stewardship of the money paid by the ESD, primarily focusing its energy on recruitment and retaining volunteers. Looking ahead toward the 2014 fiscal year, Ensor said the ESD will continue to focus on its Insurance Services Office (ISO) review by helping the department to replace fire hoses as they wear out.
The ESD also will strive toward construction of a building at the Station No. 2 site, located on F.M. 3432 near F.M. 775. The board, at its Aug. 8 meeting, reviewed architectural drawings of the new building. An existing steel building located on the site will be removed during the third week of September, Ensor said.
The new station will be simple, yet functional, she said. It will contain offices for both the fire department and the ESD, in addition to housing trucks and equipment. The second station is in line with ISO recommendations, which stipulate that the ESD’s land area warrants four stations.
Also at the Aug. 8 meeting, new board member Quinten Kiolbassa was selected to be the ESD’s assistant treasurer.
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