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ESD No. 3 adopts 8-cent tax rate
STOCKDALE -- After months of meetings, the board members of the Wilson County Emergency Services District (ESD) No. 3 have set the ad valorem (property) tax rate for the county’s third ESD at 8 cents per $100 of assessed property value.
Revenue from a tax on the properties -- which cannot exceed 10 cents per $100 of assessed property value -- will be used by the ESD to contract for emergency medical services in an area reaching from Stockdale to parts of Gonzales County, covering approximately 350 square miles.
With the ESD’s net taxable 2013 certified totals set at $317,584,819, the estimated revenue will total $254,068. At a 90-percent collection rate, the ESD’s revenue is estimated at $228,661.
According to certified numbers from the Wilson County Appraisal District, the average taxable value of a residence in the district is $100,330. At the approved rate, the taxes on such a property will be approximately $80.26.
The commissioners set the initial rate during a special called meeting Aug. 29 in the JH Bain & Sarabel Bain Memorial Emergency Services Facility in Stockdale.
This rate was determined by the budget prepared by ESD No. 3 board members Todd Lawson and Kirby Urrabazo, with consultation by Stockdale Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Director David Rice.
The directors approved the $183,000 2013-14 fiscal year budget.
This budget includes a contract with the Stockdale Emergency Medical Services Association, a loan payment to the city of Stockdale, legal fees, workmen’s compensation, tax collection, capital expenditures, modular payments of $18,620 yearly, and a $30,000 to $40,000 reserve.
The ESD board and Rice had a lengthy discussion regarding the collection of outstanding debt for medical services rendered by the Stockdale EMS. Of the $366,000 billed out by the Stockdale EMS for 2013, $251,000 is still outstanding, some of which may still be realized, but based on past history, much may remain unpaid. The remaining $115,000, known as contractual allowance, is “money we will never see,” Rice said.
Rice said 30 percent of the emergency calls are vehicular accidents. The Eagle Ford shale oil and gas exploration in the area is a major factor for the traffic increase, he said.
West asked how the Stockdale EMS operated when the volunteers received only $35,000 annually -- $25,000 from Wilson County and $10,000 from the city of Stockdale.
“That is why we need this ESD,” Rice responded.
The ESD’s contract with the Stockdale Emergency Medical Services Association will begin Jan. 1, 2014.
Also during the meeting, the directors approved Anna Gonzales, Wilson County tax assessor-collector, to serve as the collector of the ESD No. 3 taxes.
After consultation with an attorney and the comptroller’s office, no public hearing regarding the tax rate will be held, West said, since the ESD is a new taxing entity.
Property owners in the ESD No. 3 will see this tax included in their 2013 tax statements.
In attendance: board members Lynn Ray West, August Moczygemba, Todd Lawson, Kirby Urrabazo, and Teri Wolff; and Stockdale Emergency Medical Services Director David Rice.
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