Sales Tax Election

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The May 1, 2021 ballot will ask residents to vote for or against a Local Sales and Use Tax, for the entity Johnson County Emergency Services District No. 1. It will read as follows:

Proposition:

“The adoption of a local sales and use tax in Johnson County Emergency Services District No. 1 at a rate not to exceed 2% in any location in the district.”

Voting schedules and locations for the May 1, 2021 Election can be found at this official Johnson County website

Use this link to find information on registering to vote.

Virtual Community Event:

Johnson County Emergency Services District No. 1 Board of Commissioners cordially invites you to our Community Sales Tax Education Webinar to discuss the upcoming proposition election on the May 2021 ballot.

These events will feature exhibits showing the plans and goals for the District, and the Commissioners and our consultants will be present to answer your questions.

To prepare yourself for the event, be sure to review posted information regarding the election.

You may select from the dates designated below:

  • March 27, 2021     10:00am
  • April 6, 2021           7:00pm

Please register for either Johnson County ESD No. 1 – Resident Informational Webinar at:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/rt/5741539082184973328

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Johnson County ESD No. 1?

The District is an Emergency Services District (ESD), grass-roots government entity created by the District’s voters to fund fire protection, emergency medical services, training for your fire and EMS personnel, dispatching for area fire and EMS departments, and other emergency services.

There are more than 330 emergency services districts are operating in Texas, and the District provides emergency services to all of the cities and county areas in Johnson County other than the City of Cleburne and the City of Burleson. The District does contract with both of these cities to provide emergency services in the District areas not in either of those cities.

The District is the local government entity that collects property tax to fund sixteen (16) fire departments, providing fire suppression, emergency medical services, dispatching, and training to the residents of unincorporated Johnson County, as well as the other cities in the county. These taxes fund stations, apparatus, training, personnel, and to provide fire protection and other emergency services for the community.

The District also contracts with a medical director and an emergency support services provider to perform on-scene rehab for firefighters and EMS First Responders. In turn, the volunteer and municipal fire departments the District supports provide the personnel to staff the stations and operate vehicles.

In addition to contracting with local volunteer and municipal fire departments to provide emergency services, the District also supplements these departments with its own firefighters and EMTs and contracts with cities not in the District to assure seamless provision of your emergency services. The District also provides dispatching and training services for the various emergency organizations in Johnson County.

These services are all supported by your tax dollars.

What Volunteer Fire Departments are served by Johnson County ESD No. 1?

Alvarado Fire Department

Blue Water Oaks Fire Department

Bono Fire Department

Briaroaks Fire Department

Cresson Fire Department

Godley Fire Department

Grandview Fire Department

JCESD No. 1 Station 82

JCESD No. 1 Station 83

Joshua Fire Department

Keene Fire & Rescue

Liberty Chapel Fire Department

Pecan Plantation Fire Department

Rendon Fire Department

Rio Vista Fire Department

Venus Fire Department

Emergency Support Services – REHAB

Medical Director

How is Johnson County Emergency Services District No. 1 funded?

The District is currently funded through property tax property within the District, collecting $0.06 per $100 valuation on taxable property. Texas State laws allows for voters to approve a tax rate up to $0.10/$100 valuation.

This means that a property owner in the District with a property valued at $200,000.00 only pays $120.00 a year for all of these vital emergency services. Most emergency services districts in Texas have a maximum property tax rate of $0.10 per $100 valuation.

By implementing this sales and use tax, the District would not be forced to look into increasing the property taxes on its citizens.

Why does the district need more funding?

Through sound fiscal management and good stewardship, the Board has been able to purchase
and maintain the current training, apparatus, and equipment to protect the community up to this point with a limited budget.

However, there are four major issues facing the District which
require additional funding: limited budget and rising costs, population growth within the service area, recruitment and retention of firefighters, and aging equipment and apparatus.

As the Board considers the next 10 years of growth and emergency response, long-term strategic goals have been drafted to highlight the next steps in anticipating the needs of the District.

What are the issues facing Johnson County Emergency Services District No. 1?

The District is one of the largest emergency service districts in Texas in terms of the number of fire departments funded by it, but it has one of the more modest budgets considering it provides for fourteen fire departments, two ESD stations, a medical director, training for fire and EMS personnel, and other emergency and support services.

The population of the District has increased by 10% in the last 5 years and call volume has increased by 20% in that same time. Volunteerism in fire protection is down locally and nationwide, and recruiting new volunteer firefighters has been challenging.

The District has worked toward addressing this issue by also retaining paid firefighters to supplement the volunteers in the District. In addition, the District’s equipment and apparatus is aging and needs to be replaced in phases. To address these issues, the Board of Commissioners must consider additional funding sources.

What is the Long-Term Strategic Plan?

The District has been working with the Johnson County fire departments’ administration, staff, and membership to address the issues facing the District by developing a strategic plan. The five overarching needs outlined in the long-range plan are:

  • stipends for volunteer firefighters
  • training coordinator
  • equipment and apparatus
  • fire dispatch upgrades
  • supplemental paid personnel

To fully realize these goals, additional funding outside of property taxes will be needed, and sales tax is often considered, by districts, as a supplemental revenue stream.

Why a Sales Tax?

By levying a sales and use tax, the District would be shifting a portion of the funding for emergency services from property owners to anyone buying taxable goods and services in the District. The District has chosen to seek additional funding through a sales tax so some of the funding or emergency services will be borne by those traveling through the County who also use the District’s emergency services.

Currently, the 16 departments are funded through property taxes, but they respond to calls that support a greater community of individuals and families traveling through or visiting the District. A sales and use tax places some of the funding for growth and response upon non-residents and non-property owners, allowing the District and the service providers to better serve the community as a whole.

The District has considered several sources of additional funding, and the best option would be the use of sales tax in the District. In Texas, the state collects $0.0625 (6.25%) on every dollar spent but allows other local government entities to collect up to $0.02 (2%), with a state maximum of $0.0825 (8.25%), to support community services.

If the District levied an up to two percent (2%) sales tax, it could supplement the existing funding of emergency services from solely depending on residents’ property taxes to those people traveling to and through our community, who may also use local emergency services.

What areas does the proposed new sales tax affect?

On the map below, the purple area is the portion of Johnson County that the District would be able to capture the two percent (2%) sales and use tax. Residents and visitors making purchases in the non-colored areas are already paying the state maximum of eight and a quarter percent (8.25%) sales and use tax.

To clarify, no area within the District can go above the state sales and use tax cap as a result of this election proposition.

The following incorporated city limits would be excluded:

  • Alvarado
  • Burleson
  • Cleburne
  • Cross Timber
  • Crowley
  • Godley
  • Grandview
  • Joshua
  • Keene
  • Mansfield
  • Rio Vista
  • Venus

Johnson County ESD 1 Sales and Use Tax Boundaries

What happens if the Sales Tax Proposition Fails?

Whether or not the sales tax measure passes, the District will continue to work with the fire departments to serve the residents within the District boundaries, but its ability to address the issues facing the District and implement the long-range plan will be limited.

What will the ballot look like?

The May 1, 2021 ballot will ask residents to vote for or against a Local Sales and Use Tax in Johnson County Emergency Services District No. 1. It will read as follows:

Proposition A

“The adoption of a local sales and use tax in Johnson County Emergency Services District No. 1 at a rate not to exceed 2% in any location in the district.”

Voters will need to be looking for this language if they wish to cast their vote regarding the sales and use tax for the District.

When, where, and how can I vote?

Voting schedules and locations for the May 1, 2021 Election can be found at this official Johnson County website

Use this link to find information on registering to vote:
https://www.johnsoncountytx.org/departments/elections-office/register-to-vote

I have more questions…

Good! The goal is for the residents to have all the information at their disposal when voting approaches.

Additional questions can be fielded through the “Contact Us” form on the District’s website

Stay in touch with us

The Board of Emergency Services Commissioners of Johnson County Emergency Services District No. 1 desires to provide excellent communication and transparency, and there are several ways to stay up to date about the District.

Visit http://johnsoncountyfire.org/ and follow us on Facebook @JohnsonCountyFire.

Join us for the Community Sales Tax Education Webinar

Johnson County Emergency Services District No. 1 Board of Emergency Services Commissioners cordially invites you to our Community Sales Tax Education Webinar to discuss the upcoming proposition election on the May 2021 ballot.

These events will feature exhibits showing the plans and goals for the District, and the Commissioners and our consultants will be present to answer your questions.

To prepare yourself for the event, be sure to review posted information regarding the election.

You may select from the dates designated below:

  • March 27th 10:00am
  • April 6th 7:00pm

Please register for either Johnson County Emergency Services District No. 1 – Resident Informational Webinar at:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/rt/5741539082184973328

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

How can I become a volunteer firefighter?

Volunteer firefighters have been, and will continue to be, the backbone of Johnson County Emergency Services District No. 1.

Volunteers are critical to the District, and the departments are always recruiting new members.

If you would like to serve your community through emergency service, please contact the District or fill out a volunteer application.

Volunteer Application

Contact Us

Location

2451 Service Drive
Cleburne, TX 76033

Office hours

Monday - 8:00-5:00
Tuesday - 8:00-5:00
Wednesday - 8:00-5:00
Thursday - 8:00-5:00
Friday - 8:00-2:00
Saturday - CLOSED
Sunday - CLOSED

Phone NumberS

Emergency:
911

Administration Office:
(817) 556-2212

24 Hour/Non-Emergency Number:
(817) 357-8800

Email Address:
info@johnsoncountyfire.org