Some Residents Oppose E.S.D. in Fuller Springs Area - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

08/21/07 - Angelina County

Some Residents Oppose E.S.D. in Fuller Springs Area

by Ramonica R. Jones

Fuller Springs volunteer firefighters submitted a petition to Angelina County commissioners to form an Emergency Services District. Tuesday, the court accepted that petition, putting it on the ballot for the next election. It's a decision that has some Fuller Springs, Homer and Bald Hill residents upset.

"This is a volunteer department and they have to cut back on whatever they're doing to try to survive, it's just a volunteer deal and I'm not for a tax," said a resident at Tuesday's public hearing.

Other residents agree, saying many seniors who live in the area can't afford to pay any more taxes.

Tish Bryant said, "We also understand that there would be a 10 cents cap on that tax, but people on a fixed income can't even afford to pay that extra $100 a month; that just might break them."

If approved by voters in the fall, the Emergency Services District will be a governing body for the Fuller Springs community. Those residents would have to pay a tax for fire services, up to 10 cents per valuation.

"State law would cap it at 10 cents per $100 per year, so you're not talking about a hundred dollars a month, that's over-exaggerating," said Bobby Cranford, F.S.V.F.D. Assistant Chief. "This is the only tax that I've seen that there's a possibility of them saving money somewhere else to offset it."

If voters say yes to the E.S.D., the commissioners court will appoint a five-member Emergency Commission to serve Fuller Springs. The agency would have the option of later establishing a sales and use tax for residents.

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