AP NEWS

Cy-Creek Fire Department sales tax increase passes

May 6, 2019

A sales tax election for Cypress Creek Fire Department, also known as Harris County Emergency Services District No. 13, was passed on May 4 with a vote of 565 to 295 according to the unofficial election results and a post on the CCFD Facebook page.

On May 4, Cypress Creek area voters decided on a proposed 1 percent sales tax increase for sections within the Cypress Creek Fire Department service area that did not already implement an 8.25 percent sales tax.

Simon Vandyk, public information officer for CCFD, said the increase was needed due to the cap on the 10-cent ad valorem property tax that ESD No. 13 receives from its district. The entity sees an increase in revenue from property taxes if property values grow in their district, Vandyk said.

The ESD cannot increase property taxes or call for a bond election, but the property tax revenue is not meeting funding needs for the district, he said.

The 1 percent increase will only apply to areas not already at the 8.25 percent. These areas will see the sales tax increase from 7.25 to 8.25 percent, and no higher. The extra 1 percent sales tax revenue will go to CCFD/HCESD13.

“In the areas of our district that are not already at 8.25 (percent sales tax rate), we’d like to have that extra cent to be able to use to fund our efforts for public safety,” Vandyk said.

Included in ESD No. 13’s future public safety improvement plans, now possible with the 1 percent sales tax revenue, is Station 25, which would service eight square miles of land at the southern end of the district near the Sam Houston Race Park. Cypress Creek Fire Chief Richard Lieder, other staff and land consultants are currently scoping out a location for the new station. The station would have a utilitarian design built for functionality. An additional fire engine has also been proposed.

chevall.pryce@chron.com