Pflugerville voters deny tax increase for ESD No. 17 ambulance services

Travis County

PFLUGERVILLE, Texas (KXAN) — Pflugerville voters said no to four propositions to become part of Emergency Services District No. 17, which would provide ambulances for Pflugerville and its extraterritorial jurisdiction.

The election item comes after Travis County ESD No. 2, the Pflugerville Fire Department, said it needs more money to serve residents. ESD No. 2 has said it will stop services at the end of the year due to the lack of funding.

Proposition A would have added Pflugerville to ESD No. 17, but it failed 61.5%-38.5%. Proposition B failed 64%-36% within the Pflugerville city limits. Propositions A and B for the extraterritorial jurisdiction both failed as well.

The proposition would have included a tax increase for voters.

The State of Texas caps at $.10 per $100 in valuation for ESD services. At 4.5%, the tax increase comes out to about $135 a year for the average $300,000 homeowner. 

With all the propositions failing, this changes things. Pflugerville City Council member Rudy Metayer says a for-profit private emergency services company could bridge the gap instead. 

“Make no mistake, what’s underlying all of this is affordability,” said Metayer. “That is the crutch right here.”

The council is considering entering in an agreement with Acadian Ambulance Services, a private ambulance company that provides services to other counties, including Bastrop County.

At the council’s meeting on Saturday, the members discussed the issue but unanimously passed a motion to postpone making a decision on it until voters made a decision. 

The private ambulance service is a transition gap to a public option, including the possibility of a city-owned EMS service, according to Metayer. 

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