On November 5th the Spicewood Community overwhelmingly supported the creation of an Emergency Service District for Fire and EMS services for our community. On Nov. 26th, or soon thereafter, the Burnet County Commissioners will select Commissioners for our ESD from applications submitted by local residents. Soon thereafter, the Spicewood ESD Board will begin to plan the transition from a fire department fully funded by contributions, to one supported in part by tax revenues. The Spicewood VFD intends to continue to conduct a variety of fundraising activities, like the annual Destruction Derby, to help finance our community’s emergency fire and EMS services. After reviewing our past expenses and revenues, future projections, and our resource needs for the next few years, the ESD Board will determine the ESD tax rate. Taxes will not begin to be collected for the ESD until the end of 2014.
It is VERY IMPORTANT that community members understand that tax revenues from the ESD can not begin to flow to the fire department until 2015. Therefore, for the remainder of the 2013 year and for most of the 2014 year, we will CONTINUE TO DEPEND ON YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS TO OPERATE THE FIRE AND EMS SERVICES!
- An ESD is a political subdivision created to provide fire, rescue, EMS and other emergency services to the community.
- An ESD is funded by property taxes (not to exceed $0.10 / $100 valuation).
- The creation of an ESD requires voter approval.—an election
- WHY an ESD? SVFD’s annual revenues are not keeping up with its expenses. If it is to survive, the department needs a STEADY REVENUE STREAM.
- An ESD would provide the department with supplemental income that would balance the budget, provide better emergency response resources, and would ensure the continuation of emergency services in Spicewood.
- Depending on the tax rate set, the ESD could generate in excess of $100 K per year. (The SVFD annual budget has been around ~$125K-$150K/yr).
- If the voters approve the ESD, the tax rate for the ESD would be set by the Governing Board appointed by the Burnet County Commissioners. (max tax rate $0.10 / $100 value)
What would creating and ESD offer our community?
- A steady income stream for the Fire
Department and EMS Unit.
- Better fire fighting equipment—increased response capability and increased safety for volunteers.
- Better EMS resources—increased medical emergency response capabilities.
- Compliant communications resources—improved response times and improved inter-agency / mutual aid coordination.
- Tuition and fees for volunteers to attend Firefighter and EMS first responders schools and other training programs.
- Increased opportunities for volunteers to focus on firefighting and EMS skills training—skills improvement.
What are the tax implications of creating an ESD for Spicewood residents?
If the ESD is approved, the tax rate for the ESD is set by the Governing Board (maximum tax rate is $0.10 / $100 value). If it was set at $0.05, the following tax burdens would result.
TAX / YR
|$ 50,000||$ 25|
|$ 100,000||$ 50|
Flyers with additional information regarding the creation of an ESD are available at the Firehouse.