Statement on ESD #1 Tax Election

Dripping Springs — Hays County’s Proposition #1 has failed by strong 27-point margin, with 63.36% voting no. Proposition #1 would have increased the maximum property tax rate levied by North Hays County Emergency Services District #1 by 133%, from 3 cents to 7 cents per $100 in property value.

“I’m pleased that the citizens of northern Hays County join me in opposing higher property taxes,” Rep. Isaac said Saturday. “The Texas Legislature has worked diligently to find solutions to our growing property tax problem. We made progress last session, but there’s still more to be done to relieve this significant financial burden on Texas homeowners — and we cannot do it without a strong commitment from everyone to lower taxes for all Texans.

“I’m thankful for the dedicated men and women serving on the ESD #1 board  — and especially the EMTs working every day to keep our community safe and healthy. I look forward to working with them, as well as other county and state officials, to ensure Hays County residents have quality emergency medical services while ensuring our hard-earned tax dollars are used efficiently.”

Representing Blanco and Hays counties, Rep. Isaac has served House District 45 in the Texas Legislature since 2011. He is a member of the Economic and Small Business Development, Environmental Regulation and Local and Consent Calendars committees and is chair of the Subcommittee on Small Business. He lives in Drippings Springs with his wife, Carrie, and two sons.

 

In my last two editorials, I’ve explained two key problems with ESD #1’s proposed 133% tax hike — problems that board members themselves have admitted. They don’t closely oversee the district’s operations, and they don’t feel they have the time to find a better solution than raising your already too-high property taxes.

The fact is, ESD #1 is already receiving additional funding through not only increasing population and rising property values (which have gone up 8% this year alone!), but also through Section 1115 Medicaid Transformation Waivers, thanks to legislation I fought to pass. Texas just this week received an extension of that waiver, ensuring these federal funds will be available for the next 15 months.

The ESD has admitted it won’t know its costs until this summer. And more than doubling its tax rate without first finding out how much it actually needs is akin to Nancy Pelosi’s infamous quip on Obamacare, “We have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it.” We’ve all seen how well Obamacare is working.

The ESD should better understand its costs before increasing your taxes. Better yet, they should work more closely with our current EMS provider to assist in collections or other revenue generation. Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened. As I’ve said before, “raising taxes is the easy thing to do, not the right thing.”

The fact is, we deserve better stewardship of our tax dollars — and our dedicated EMS professionals deserve better. I urge you to vote NO to this irresponsible tax increase and encourage your friends and neighbors to join you. Election Day is Saturday, May 7.

Regardless of the outcome of this election, I will continue fighting to reduce our property taxes as I have pledged since first elected. I also look forward to opening a dialogue with Hays County officials to explore other options that provide the services we expect without increasing the financial burden on the taxpayers.

Wouldn’t it be nice to own your home one day and not rent it from the government?

Visit Facebook.com/StopESD1TaxHike to learn more.

Sincerely,

Jason Isaac

 

North Hays County Emergency Services District #1 is asking you to increase its tax rate by 133%. Once again, I write to urge you to vote NO on May 7.

In my editorial posted last week, I pointed out that the ESD’s board members have readily admitted that they are not sure how much supervision they should have over their contractor or even “what was and was not working in the EMS system.” The lack of oversight the board itself acknowledges makes its proposed tax hike very troubling.

Instead of asking for such a large tax increase, the ESD should immediately take two actions. First, increase oversight of its contractor. Second, immediately put out a request for proposals  — with service level commitments that include two to three ambulances with acceptable response times — to determine if there are less expensive, more efficient options available that would put our tax dollars to better use. If taxes must be increased in the meantime, the ESD already has room within the current cap to do so.

ESD board members have repeatedly claimed that, as part-time volunteers, they simply don’t have the time to find a better solution. That excuse is a disservice to the hard-working families who depend on them to ensure ambulances are available when, God forbid, they need them. We, as residents of Hays County, have entrusted them with a simple mission, and we should expect them to manage our hard-earned money responsibly. 

Perhaps it’s time for the Texas Legislature to consider abolishing ESDs and placing emergency ambulance services back within the authority of county commissioners, whom we have the opportunity to hold accountable at the polls.

Early voting will be held through May 3, and Election Day is May 7. I strongly encourage you to join me in voting NO on this proposed tax increase.

Visit Facebook.com/StopESD1TaxHike to learn more.

Sincerely,

Jason Isaac

 

Vote NO on North Hays County ESD #1 tax hike

North Hays County Emergency Services District #1 wants to raise its tax rate by 133%.

If you live in Dripping Springs, Driftwood, Henly, or the Dripping Springs ETJ, I urge you to join me in voting NO in the upcoming local election held on May 7.

ESD #1 can currently levy property taxes at a rate of three cents per $100 of a home’s property value. It currently taxes below that cap at 2.52 cents. The proposition would raise the cap to seven cents. Again, that’s more than doublethe current maximum rate and greater than 175% of the current actual rate.

While everyone agrees that these services are and should remain a priority, especially as our community continues to grow, there’s simply no reason for such a large increase.

Property taxes are already a significant financial burden for many Texas families. For unelected bureaucrats to seek such a large and unjustified increase is simply irresponsible. This is especially critical for our community, where many families choose to live in order to avoid Austin’s high taxes and overregulation.

The ESD claims this increase is necessary because its contractor, San Marcos Hays County EMS, has raised its fees. However, in the same independent report the ESD is using to justify this request, the board admits it is “uncertain as to what extent [its] role was in overseeing the contractor.” One board member went so far as to say that “the board was not certain about what was and was not working in the EMS system.” With such a flagrant lack of oversight, I ask: How can the board be sure SMHCEMS is fulfilling the terms of its contract in a fiscally responsible manner? If the ESD is not satisfied with the fees it is being charged, why has it not put out an RFP seeking other providers that can achieve acceptable service levels at lower costs?

It seems to me that blindly paying more money for the same level of service and using fear tactics to scare voters into raising their taxes is the easy way — not the right way.

Visit Facebook.com/StopESD1TaxHike to learn more.

Sincerely,

Jason Isaac

 

Austin, TX — Rep. Jason Isaac (R-Dripping Springs) has been elected vice president of the Texas Conservative Coalition (TCC).

TCC is a nonprofit organization of Texas state legislators advocating for conservative principles including limited government, individual liberty, free enterprise and traditional values.

“It’s an absolute honor to be entrusted with helping lead the Texas Conservative Coalition as we head into the 85th Legislative Session,” Rep. Isaac said. “Last session has been widely called the most effective and conservative in recent history, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to continue that trend.”

Also elected for TCC’s 2016-2018 term were Rep. James Frank (R-Wichita Falls) as president, Rep. Jodie Laubenberg (R-Parker) as secretary and Rep. Ron Simmons (R-Carrollton) as treasurer.

“Having worked closely with Rep. Isaac, I know his steadfast commitment to the conservative values we share will serve both TCC and the State of Texas well,” said Rep. Frank.

Rep. Isaac previously served as TCC’s treasurer.

Representing Blanco and Hays counties, Rep. Isaac has served House District 45 in the Texas Legislature since 2011. He is a member of the Economic and Small Business Development, Environmental Regulation and Local and Consent Calendars committees and is chair of the Subcommittee on Small Business. He lives in Drippings Springs with his wife, Carrie, and two sons.

 

Happy Easter! He is Risen.

Dear Friends,

Christ is risen indeed! As we celebrate the resurrection of our savior, I hope you’re surrounded by family, friends, and loved ones. We are truly blessed to live in a state and nation that leave us free to worship and celebrate this miraculous holiday freely — and even more blessed by the ultimate sacrifice Jesus Christ paid for our redemption.

I hope you feel the same sense of enduring peace that I do this Easter weekend. From my family to yours, happy Easter.

Sincerely,

Jason Isaac

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It’s time to unite behind Ted Cruz

Dear Friends,

As you may have heard, Marco Rubio has suspended his campaign for President of the United States. While I’m grateful for his stepping up to run, I’m wholeheartedly giving my support to Ted Cruz.

As Senator Rubio said in his final speech as a presidential candidate, “The politics of resentment will not just leave us a fractured party. It will leave us a fractured nation.”

America has strayed far from the Founding Fathers’ plan for a nation centered around liberty and limited government from sea to shining sea. Senator Rubio has called on the Republican Party to create a new political establishment — one that is less interested in poll numbers and headlines and more interested in solving problems and standing by principles.

Ted Cruz has gained a reputation as a principled conservative, and I believe it’s time to unite around him as the Republican candidate for President of the United States. Texas is a leader in the nation, not only in economic growth, but also in preserving freedom, in keeping government small, and in reaching across the aisle to work together with people of different opinions. Ted Cruz has unique firsthand experience of the “Texas miracle.” His plans to simplify the federal tax code, reduce burdensome regulations, and unleash America’s energy resources will go a long way in making our nation a little more like Texas. With the support of our great state, he can defeat the Democratic Party and take the conservative principles that have made the Lone Star State the greatest state in our nation to Washington.

For those of you with friends and family in states whose primaries have not yet occurred, I hope you’ll join me in urging them to cast their vote for Ted Cruz. A vote for any other candidate is a vote for the Democrats.

I’m hopeful that come November, the title of President-Elect will go to Senator Ted Cruz.

Humbly,

Jason Isaac

 

Early voting is happening now!

Founding Father Samuel Adams called voting “one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.” We are truly blessed to live in a nation that recognizes that a government’s power can only be justly derived from the voice of the people it serves.

I hope you will all exercise this critical responsibility this election season. Early voting for the Republican primary begins today through February 26, and the Primary Election will be held Tuesday, March 1.

I recently joined Marco Rubio’s Texas Leadership Team. As a former state legislator, Senator Rubio knows firsthand the impact of intrusive federal government regulations, and he has fought hard during his time in the Senate to stop government growth. I truly believe he has the vision, leadership and strong conservative record needed to unite our party — and that he is the best candidate to limit government, preserve our liberty and unleash America’s greatness. I am excited and honored to offer my support to Marco Rubio for President of the United States.

I know many of my conservative constituents support Ted Cruz. I think he is an amazing leader, one I have voted for and supported in the past, and he serves Texas well. However, this isn’t a legislative decision — this is a personal decision. Cruz and Rubio are arguably both among the top five most conservative members of Congress. Through no fault of his own, Ted Cruz has been vilified in the media, and it shows in polls on “electability” which Marco Rubio leads overwhelmingly. In the last 6 presidential elections, Republicans have only won the popular vote once! Wouldn’t it be nice if someone that can actually unite this country would win in November? I believe Marco Rubio gives us the best chance to do that.

Rubio’s service in the Florida legislature also gives him experience unique to other viable candidates of understanding firsthand the pain the federal government pushes down on states through unfunded mandates that exceed constitutional authority. Furthermore, he is the only candidate that has actually accomplished reform to the un-Affordable Care Act — reform that will keep us, the taxpayers, from having to bail out insurance companies. I believe his success in this area will ultimately lead to the failure of Obamacare and turn us back toward a free-market approach to health insurance that promotes individual responsibility. Imagine that!

The race to the Republican nomination is getting smaller by the week, and I believe no one in the field gives us a better chance to win than Marco Rubio. I hope you’ll visit MarcoRubio.com to learn more about Senator Rubio and his plan to restore our nation.

But regardless of which candidate you choose to support, I strongly encourage you to take this opportunity to cast your vote for the future of our nation. Conservative principles have made Texas the greatest state to live, work and raise a family — and they can rejuvenate the Founding Fathers’ vision of liberty for the United States.

Visit VoteTexas.gov to download a sample ballot and learn more about when and where to vote. I hope to see you at the polls.

 

Last month, six American soldiers were tragically killed in action in Afghanistan by a suicide bomber. Among them was Staff Sergeant Michael A. Cinco, a resident of Mercedes, Texas, in the Rio Grande Valley area. Sergeant Cinco served our nation bravely, fighting at home and abroad to protect our liberty as a member of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, and died at just 28 years old.

IMG_6888aI have formally requested that the Honor and Remember flag be flown over the Texas State Capitol today and asked government agencies and veterans’ organizations in Hays and Blanco Counties to make this same gesture. This flag was created as a symbol of America’s fallen service men and women. I invite you to share it on Facebook and Twitter to show the State of Texas’ gratitude for Sergeant Cinco’s admirable service and tragic sacrifice.

Funeral services for Sergeant Cinco will be held at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio on January 6. Please join me in praying for peace and comfort for the Cinco family and for all who have lost a loved one in service of our nation.