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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
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February 27, 2013     Hays Free Press
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February 27, 2013
 

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Page 4A NBW$ Hays Free Press February 27, 2013 t ESD 8 Taxes: Millions in sales tax up for vote Continued from pg. 1A But all that finger pointing show that if voters approve Huckaby added, "it is im- conversation is different now seems to be in the past.the measure, the increased perative the city of Buda and because he and Huckaby sat ESD 8 is back in the ring, Sales and Use Tax will gener- Hays County ESD #8/Buda down and talked about the this time armed with a plan to ate an additional $1,047,601 Fire Dept. work together asthe plan before Huckaby brought share revenue that should ap- each year. The current sales city and the ESD grow. Growth it to council. Initial conversa- pease Buda city managers and tax brings in roughly $867,000 is coming to our area regard- tions also included Williams, the city's Economic Devel- a year, according to the data less. The city of Buda and the council members, lawyers opment Corporation (EDC), Huckabyprovided. ESD must work together to be and staff from the Buda Eco- which relies on sales tax for Under the proposed plan able to provide the best pos- nomic Development Corpo- nearly 100 percent of its oper- to increase sales tax in unin- sible services to the citizens ration (EDC), which is funded atingbudget, corporated areas outside the and businesses of Buda and almost entirely through sales A similar plan, brokered by city limits, ESD 8 could take in surrounding areas." tax revenue. County Commissioner Mark$1,914,796 annually. Ruge said the difference this The proposed increase in Jones in 2011, would have al- In 2011, the ESD 8 estimates time around with the agree- funding, accordingto Huckaby, lowed a split of the additional put the figure at $500,000 in ment was communication, would help ESD 8 pay for sev- revenue if the city annexed an additional revenue. That's Prior to the Oct. 18, 2011 eral expenses including main- unincorporated area where an increase of about twice as meeting, Ruge said the council taining staffing levels as grants ESD 8 was already collecting much in roughly a year and a and city manager were caught expire, paying down debt and the higher tax. half. by surprise because they had purchasing new fire trucks, in- The deal fell through since Huckaby said the difference not heard about the plan to cluding apparatus for large and voters turned down the in- was in 2011, the ESD relied on call an election for ESD 8 to high-rise structures. crease, the State Comptroller's Office raise sales tax in the unincor- Huckaby said ESD 8 has The tone between the pri- data. This time, he said a con- porated area outside the city identified several dozen large mary players, Buda Fire Chief sulting firm, Sales Tax Assur- limits, and/or high rise structures in Clay Huckaby and Buda City ance, provided the estimates. "When the city annexes an the district, including seven Manager Kenneth Williams, Buda City Council voted at area, the agreement is that we Hays CISD schools, Creekside appears more collegial this the Feb. 19 meeting to pass provide services," Ruge said. Villas Senior Apartments, Tex- time around, an interlocal agreement that But if ESD 8 received the as Lehigh, Buda H-E-B, Caleb- At the Feb. 5 city council would allow the city to receive revenue from the higher sales la's and several hotels in Buda. meeting, Huckaby presented some of those new tax dollars, tax, it would have prevented He said the additional mon- the revised plan for ESD 8 to Huckaby said the discus-the city from tapping into that ey would also help provide bring a sales tax increase elec- sions "have been approached revenue stream to support enough staff at the Buda Fire tion to the voters in unincor- much better and received well future infrastructure, such as Main Station to reduce re- porated areas this May. But he by all parties." water, electricity and police sponse times, which currently had already talked with Wil- He said ESD 8, at its Monday service, average five minutes 46 sec- liams and Mayor Todd Ruge meeting, unanimously passed Ruge said this time around, onds.The fundswould be used weeks earlier about the plan. the same interlocal agree- the entities came to "a very to construct more fire stations In a handout shared withment as the one Buda council good agreement." in the future as call volumes council members, estimates passed days earlier. He believes the tone of the and resources dictate. Wimberley Fire: Hardware store a total loss Continued from pg. 1A and there were no injuries, "Manythoughtsranthrough generator- which is the only - Wimberley, North Hays, according to Chambers, who my head as I witnessed this revenue going into the City of Buda, Kyle, South Hays and ruled out the possibility of tragedy," Conley wrote. "Will Wimberley," Conley asked. San Marcos - responded to arson in a Monday morning the fire be contained without And in an about-face, the call, which came in just interview, anymore damage being done Conley said he pondered on before 10 p.m. according to Investigators were unable to our town? What about all the positive aspects of the the Hays County Sheriff's to assess the damage over the the local people that work night as he drove home. Office. Chambers said the weekendbecausethestructure there and the impact this will "No one was hurt," Conley Hays County Community was too hot, Chambers have on their lives and our wrote. "No other structures Emergency Response Team said, and, on Monday, the community? This businesscaught fire in our town- we (CERT) was also on hand gusty winds caused the had become a landmark inwere fortunate it was not a Friday night, helping to investigation task force to our town. How will the owners windy night ... Initial reports support first responders. suspend operations because feel to witness years of hard were also showing that there "The men and women from of unsafe conditions due to work burn down in a single was likely no negative impact across the entire county did blowing debris, according to night?" to our creeks and river." a fantastic job protecting the Hays County Assistant Fire The Ace Hardware store was Conley found solace after area-everyfiredepartmentin Marshal Clint Browning. the number three employer speaking to the owners, as Hays County responded and Conley, who said he was in Wimberley, and numberthey informed him properourWimberleyfirechiefdrove at the scene from 10 p.m. one in terms of gross sales, plans and investments were all the way from Houston Friday until 4 a.m. Saturday, according to Chambers. in place to ensure that the when he received the news," grappled with questions "How will the City of full-time employees would be Conley wrote. that confounded him as he Wimberley be affected, as ok and that rebuilding was in observed the blaze and first- Ace Hardware had become their future plans, he said. 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