Editor’s note: This article previously stated the petition was filed in the City of Pflugerville. It was updated to reflect the correct information.
PFLUGERVILLE, Texas (KXAN) — The argument over tax dollar allocation for emergency services in the City of Pflugerville went before the City Council this week.
Travis County ESD 2 has received a petition that calls for transferring a portion of the sales tax dollars that currently go to Travis County Emergency Services District 2 to the city, so the city can use that money to start the process of creating an ambulance service that just covers the city limits of Pflugerville.
The text of the petition reads:
“This is a petition for ‘The decrease in the rate of the local sales and use tax imposed by Travis County Emergency Services District #2 from 0.5 percent to 0 percent in the City of Pflugerville, and 1.0 percent to 0.5 percent in those areas of the District subject to 1.0 percent taxation.”
Chief Nick Perkins said his firefighters have the training to handle medical calls, so they respond to all med calls within the city limits, even though the City is currently contracted with a private ambulance service.
He said if the petition passes, that could mean $10-15 million less per year, which accounts for about one-third of the annual budget.
“I would have to eliminate as many as 100 fire staff positions. I’d have to close two fire stations,” Perkins said.
On the other side, the group behind the petition claims the ESD has more than enough money, and residents’ tax dollars would be better served by helping create a new ambulance service that’s overseen by elected city leaders instead of a county-appointed board.
“The most important thing is that we want our elected officials to have control over our ambulance services, so they are accountable to the voters,” said Melody Ryan, the spokesperson for the petition’s campaign.
The petition was submitted, and staff are now in the process of validating the signatures. If it goes through, the measure will go to voters in the May 6 election.
We reached out to the city about the petition but have not heard back.