ESD 3 considers tax-rate cut

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Wilson County Emergency Services District 3 (ESD 3) is considering lowering its property-tax rate for the coming fiscal year.

District commissioners met Aug. 10 and approved a budget for the 2023-24 year.

A primary source of revenue for the emergency medical services (EMS) provided by ESD 3 through Wilson County District 3 EMS is ad valorem, or property, taxes.

Currently, ESD 3 collects property tax for its service area — all of eastern Wilson County, including the cities of Stockdale and La Vernia, and the communities of Kicaster, Sutherland Springs, and Pandora — at a rate of 8.5 cents per $100 of taxable value.

But that could come down, according to EMS Director David Rice.

The rate being considered by the district is 7.6697 cents per $100 of valuation, he said. This includes a maintenance and operations rate of 7.0311 cents, and .6386 cents for debt service.

“This is a decrease in our tax rate, and is below the no-new-revenue rate,” Rice said.

In the current fiscal year, ESD 3 has received $1.96 million in property tax revenue.

ESD 3’s commissioners

— Race Skaggs, Eddie Callender, Cindy Couch, Jeffrey Dugi, and Carlos Salazar — will not adopt a tax rate until their next meeting in September.

The district also sees revenue from a 1-percent sales-and-use tax assessed in its coverage area. Sales tax collected in July totaled $96,146.23, said Rice; for the fiscal year so far, ESD 3 has received $924,164.62.

In other business Aug. 10, the board:

•Approved a quote totaling $63,362 from Mustang Colt Services, Inc. for generators to provide backup power at Station 1 in La Vernia, and Station 3 in Stockdale.

•Approved an engagement letter with CPA firm McCall Gibson Swedlund Barfoot PLLC to conduct a fiscal year 2023 audit

•Approved 2023 tax calculations provided by Wilson County Tax- Assessor Collector Dawn Polasek Barnett; the no-new-revenue rate is 7.6698 cents per $100 of taxable value, and the voter-approval rate being 9.2923 cents per $100

•Heard EMS crews had responded to 361 calls in July, with an average response time of 7 minutes, 50 seconds; total calls so far this fiscal year are 3,210

•Approved bills paid of $111,087.06.

The next ESD 3 board meeting is set for Monday, Sept. 18, at 9:15 a.m.