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Section A: General News


No tax increase for ESD No. 3




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Wilson County News
August 27, 2014 | 1,819 views | Post a comment

The emergency services district serving Stockdale and a huge swath of Wilson County will have less income to meet its financial obligations for the coming year. The Wilson County Emergency Services District (ESD) No. 3 commissioners proposed maintaining the current ad valorem (property) tax rate of 8 cents per $100 of assessed value during an Aug. 21 special meeting. They could have used the 2014 effective tax rate of 8.08 cents per $100 of assessed value, but chose not to. This means less income to meet maintenance and operations obligations.

The effective tax rate is the rate that will generate the same amount of tax proceeds as last year from property listed on both the 2013 and 2014 tax rolls. The 2014 taxable value of $311,944,343 is $5.6 million below last year’s $317,584,819.

When the 2014 new taxable value total of $7,436,568 is included, the overall total -- $319,380,911 -- still exceeds last year’s tax base. If the district realizes a 100-percent tax-collection rate, the district would receive $255,504. To prepare the 2014-15 fiscal budget, the directors used a 93-percent collection rate to achieve a balanced budget of $237,700.

According to certified numbers from the Wilson County Appraisal District, the average taxable value of a residence in the district (after homestead exemptions) is $101,383. At the proposed rate, the taxes on such a property will be approximately $81.11.

The public will have two opportunities to voice their opinions about the tax rate during two public hearings set for Sept. 11 and Sept. 18 at 6 p.m., in the JH Bain & Sarabel Bain Memorial Emergency Services Facility in Stockdale. A public hearing regarding the budget is set for Sept. 11.

Also during the meeting, the commissioners approved the purchase of two monitors; this had been tabled at the last meeting.

Stockdale Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Director David Rice was to return with quotes for only one monitor. Instead, he was able to return with a better offer, cutting more than $11,000 from the original quote of $97,359. Commissioner Todd Lawson made a motion to proceed with a lease with 0-percent financing for 60 months, with a $1 buyout with U.S. Bank Equipment Financing. The motion was approved.

As reported Aug. 13, the directors instructed Rice to send a letter of intent for the purchase of a modular chassis for an ambulance. During the Aug. 21 meeting, the commissioners asked for Rice to pay off the outstanding balance of one of the two ambulances in the EMS fleet. The current payoff is $17,908. The Stockdale EMS is now responsible for the payments, following formation of the ESD; the city of Stockdale was making the payments before. This payoff is to be included in the 2013-14 EMS budget.

The board also revisited other items tabled during the Aug. 7 meeting, after consulting with their attorney, including:

•The contract for EMS billing and collection has been forwarded to Stockdale EMS Director David Rice for finalization.

•A “waiver of audit” for the 2013 fiscal year will be processed and forwarded to the county auditor. An audit can be waived, since the district receives less than $250,000 in revenue and has no debt. The next audit is due June 2015.

•A revised contract with Dr. Daryl C. Currier for services as medical director will be forwarded to Currier for review.

What is an effective tax rate?

According to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts website, “The effective tax rate is a calculated rate that would provide the taxing unit with about the same amount of revenue it received in the year before, on properties taxed in both years. If property values rise, the effective tax rate will go down and vice versa.”
 

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