Hardin VFD, ESD asking voters to say ‘yes’ to sales tax increase

Additional sales tax revenue could provide additional $15K in homestead exemptions

The Liberty County Emergency Service District # 7 for the Hardin-Moss Hill area is calling an election Nov. 5, 2019, for a sales tax increase of $0.01 for the unincorporated areas of the district. This is all voters except those within the city of Hardin. This sales tax increase will allow the district to lower the property taxes the citizens pay by instituting a $15,000 homestead exemption to help switch the tax burden away from property owners.

“With the growth of Liberty County and projected growth for our area, your ESD7 commissioners are working hard to be in a position to be proactive with the growth and not reactive,” said ESD #7 President Klint Bush. “ESD #7 and your fire department conservatively and efficiently use every cent that we receive and make sure that it is all invested right back in the communities we serve.”

This new sales tax switch will capture sales tax from those who pass through the area and not rely solely on the property owners of ESD #7. This will allow the district to buy down property taxes with the addition of the homestead exemption.

“Most of this new revenue will help fund current fire and emergency medical responder services as well as facilitate a substation in the Moss Hill community. After years of playing catch-up, your Hardin Fire Department is getting better trained and better equipment to save lives, structures and properties. We are working to lower the homeowner’s insurance rates district wide. ESD #7 is leading Liberty County in fire service and planning for the future of our communities,” Bush said.

ESD 7 currently receives $0.03 per $100 of assessed value in property tax revenue. Voting “yes” in this election will not raise property taxes at all.

“This election will raise the sales tax to the same rate as you pay at Walmart in Liberty. This election should set up the district to not have to ask the taxpayers for any new revenues for decades to come. This sales tax election will help pave the way to eventually hire paid staff to respond 911 calls while our volunteers are at work. The projected revenue will increase due to the positive growth of economic activity in our area,” Bush said.

The ESD 7 district includes from FM 2830 (Airport Road) to the south all the way north past Snake River. The district goes west on SH 105 to the Trinity River and east to the Liberty-Hardin county line. It also includes the area on FM 834 about midway to Daisetta and FM 1011 to the railroad tracks. All totaled, the district takes in about 163 square miles of Liberty County, including 30 miles of river frontage properties.

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