Voters approve ESD 1 sales tax increase

Updated at 10:08

According to unofficial final results released by Hays County Saturday evening, more than 60 percent of voters in Emergency Service District 1 (ESD 1) cast a ballot in favor of a sales tax increase to help the entity cope with the area’s growth.

Of the 3,220 ballots cast, 1,987 voted in favor of raising the sales tax, with 1,233 voting against. Results remain unofficial until canvassed.

Proposal 1, brought forward by ESD 1, will put into action a .5 percent sales tax increase on each purchase made within district boundaries. The proposal will help ESD 1 keep up with increasing calls by purchasing an additional ambulance and taking on a team to help with calls during peak times, officials said.

From 2013-2017, the number of calls to the district increased by roughly eight percent each year, according to ESD 1 Commissioner Geoffrey Tahuahua.

“We’re obviously very appreciate of the voters for placing their trust in us,” Tahuahua said. “I’m also really excited, happy and relieved to have the funds necessary to continue to maintain the level of service we provide.”

The next step, he said, will be for ESD 1 officials to begin discussions to allow for the changes to be implemented next year.

“This is going to definitely help us, but the growth and increase in calls going out is going to continue to be a struggle we’ll have to play catch up to,” Tahuahua said. “I hope voters stay interested and continue to support their emergency services.”

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