Early voting has begun, and we have the opportunity to choose our next president and to vote on several critical local races and issues. It’s important to read up on all items on the ballot, including two bond propositions for Hays County, but I want to draw your attention to proposals that may appear at the bottom of your ballot for two reasons: first, they will result in yet another property tax and therefore higher taxes overall, and second, it will cede control to an unelected board who won’t be accountable to the voters. For these reasons, I urge you to vote AGAINST the creation of Hays County Emergency Services District (ESD) #9 or the expansion of ESD #7.
The proposed ESD #9 would increase property taxes in much of eastern Hays County, including San Marcos and Kyle, and ESD #7’s expansion would do the same in San Marcos. The fact is, we already pay too much in property taxes. Even a few cents adds up, especially for families who are struggling to make ends meet.
Hays County residents certainly don’t need to pay more for the services they already receive. Taxpayers affected by these proposals already receive emergency medical services, despite the fact that they don’t live within an ESD or pay ESD taxes. And because Hays County subsidizes one of the current EMS providers, residents who do live in an ESD actually pay more for the same services.
Our community depends on reliable emergency medical services — and we are fortunate to have some truly outstanding EMS professionals in our community — but creating more and more compartmentalized government and higher property taxes is not the right answer.
Instead of a patchwork of taxing districts, I plan to work with county officials towards a single county-wide ESD that would keep existing leadership and EMT staff while streamlining operations, thereby saving taxpayer dollars. This system would also allow voters to hold elected leaders accountable for the services they receive, while ESDs are currently run by unelected board members.
I’m urging all affected by this proposal to vote against the creation of ESD #9 or the expansion of ESD #7. I believe Hays County should work together to create a more efficient, more accountable, and more fiscally responsible EMS system that doesn’t result in an increased cost of living.
ESD #7 proposed annexation boundaries:
ESD #9 proposed boundaries: