Tax rate boosts fire budgets in Rusk County

Tax rate boosts fire budgets in Rusk County

POSTED: Thursday, March 6, 2014 - 12:00pm

UPDATED: Thursday, March 6, 2014 - 12:39pm

A newly implemented tax rate increase has boosted the budget of Rusk County Emergency Services District No. 1 by $1 million, enabling the purchase of fire-fighting equipment.

The district will use the taxpayer-generated funds instead of state money to purchase more than $640,000 in equipment, said ESD President Travis Prior.

The county raised its tax rate from 3 cents to 7 cents per $100 valuation Jan. 1 to benefit its 16 fire departments, and Prior said the new tax rate has bolstered the ESD’s budget from $600,000 to $1.6 million

Prior made a presentation Wednesday to the Rusk County Commissioners Court.

Efforts to release money earmarked for training and equipping state volunteer fire departments have failed in Austin.

This past year, state Rep. David Simpson unsuccessfully tried to unlock $59 million drawn from homeowners’ insurance policies that had been used to balance the state’s 2012-13 budget.

Read more from the Longview News-Journal.

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