ESD to hold tax rate public hearing


Gonzales County Emergency Services District #1 (ESD) will hold its second of two public hearing regarding a proposed tax rate increase Thursday, Sept. 5. Citing outdated equipment and other mounting costs, the ESD board proposed a tax rate of $0.10 per $100 of valuation at its Aug. 8 meeting.

The proposed tax rate is the highest an ESD can legally set its rate at. The rate also exceeds the both the proposed effective and rollback rates, leaving it subject a potential recall election.

Recently, the ESD has taken on more responsibility with the Gonzales County Emergency Medical Services and Rescue. On July 16, the EMS board shrunk from 11 members down to three, two of which—Commie Hisey and Johnnie Hall—are also members of the ESD board.

The change was done to not only to expediate the ongoing merger between the two groups, but to stabilize the EMS’s financial situation. Legal restrictions prevent the ESD from absorbing the debts of the EMS, so the three member EMS board will remain intact until all of the EMS’s debts are paid.

The ESD held its first tax rate hearing Aug. 29, though no citizens appeared to speak. The second hearing is set for 4 p.m., Sept. 5 at the Gonzales County EMS Station, 1703 Saint Joseph St. Gonzales, Texas 78629.