ESD 2 Sales Tax Election Fact Sheet

ESD 2 Sales Tax Election Fact Sheet

Emergency Services District No.2 (ESD2) will have the following proposition on the May 7, 2022 election ballot.

PROPOSITION A: The adoption of a local sales and use tax in Bastrop County Emergency Services District No.2 at the rate of one and one-half (1.5%) percent.

Here is the background and some thoughts behind asking to hold this election.

HISTORICAL FACTORS to consider - ESD2 has done a good job so far:

  • ESD2 was formed in a vote in 2007 wherein the voters approved creating a taxing entity with a 10¢ property tax rate (10¢/$100 of assessed property value).
  • Texas Tax Code limits ESDs to a 10¢/$100 rate so they are not allowed to charge more than this rate.
  • The level of service you have been receiving has been delivered at this tax rate.
  • The State of Texas has recently adopted certain measures that limit the revenue collected by taxing entities to 3 ½% increase on existing properties. This has driven The ESD2 tax rate for fiscal year 2021/ 2022 to 9.4¢/$100 of assessed property value and will continue to drive it lower each year.
  • This new 3 ½% limit does not allow ESD2 to keep up with inflationary pressures and additional regulation imposed upon it by state and federal authorities.
  • Here are some of the pressures ESD2 faces in trying to maintain a consistent service level to us the local residents and taxpayers:
    • Population growth
    • Traffic growth in our area from locals and traveling public (affects crash response)
    • Traffic pressure (affects response time)
    • Inflation
    • Competitive Pay rates for staff
    • Governmental Regulations increasing constantly
    • Age and condition of equipment
    • Constituent demand for additional services provided (ie services beyond just fire response)
    • Service level provided (response time, ability to serve certain conditions, etc)

ALTERNATIVES – ESD2 has options of how it proceeds:

  1. Staying within the existing 3 ½% State imposed limit which will further erode the quality of service.
  2. Maintaining our rate at 10¢ and continue a quality of service which will not improve or potentially erode with population growth.
  3. Add an additional 1.5% (to 8.25%) sales tax for sales within ESD2 district without a reduction in property tax. This will cause a slight additional cost to district taxpayers.
  4. Reduce the property tax slightly and add an additional 1.5% (to 8.25%) sales tax for sales in the ESD2 district. This should not cost local taxpayers any additional overall tax burden. This is the option chosen by the ESD 2 Board.

Factors considered by the Board in choosing alternative #4:

  • The ESD2 board plans on cutting the property tax rate from the current ~9.5¢/$100 to 8.5¢/$100 for fiscal year 2022/2023. The sales tax will act as a REPLACEMENT for a portion of the property tax.
  • Sales taxes are “optional”. You have a choice of where you shop and if you buy. With property tax, you have no choice.
  • ESD2 residents don’t shop exclusively within ESD2, they shop in one of the city areas (Elgin, Bastrop, Smithville) which ALREADY charge for the sales tax differential that ESD2 proposes to charge. Most of us will not significantly contribute to the new ESD 2 sales tax revenue.
  • Mostly, the sales tax will be paid by people travelling THROUGH our area on our major highways. A majority of the revenue is anticipated to come from these travelers from “out of town”.
  • ESD2 spends considerable time and resources on responding to automotive crashes. ESD2 is there to:
    • Ensure fires don’t start or spread,
    • Provide first response medical assistance for those injured in the accident
    • Provide “remediation” (clean-up of fuel / oil spills, broken glass and other hazardous conditions)
    • Assist in traffic management.

SERVICE PLANS as a successful result of this Election:

  • Establish a fire station in the southern part of our district and staff it 24/7. This will help reduce response times in this and surrounding areas.
  • Implement a Community Wildfire Protection Plan to educate and help district residents create defensible space around their homes to improve protection from wildfires.


Click the link to see the ESD2 Detail Map - ESD2 Detail Map

Click the link to see the County Map showing the ESD2 District in relation to Bastrop County - ESD2 District Map