Voters failed to approve Harris County Emergency Services District No. 15's tax proposition Saturday, May 5, ESD 15 Commissioner Buddy Roth said. Although Roth could not provide official vote tallies Monday, May 7, he said he estimated about 40 residents supported the proposition while about 60 residents voted against the proposition.
"The proposal was defeated," Roth said. "There wasn't much turnout. That's always a problem with the local elections like that. I'm not sure that turnout was the real problem as far as we were concerned. Just to be blunt about it, we didn't do a very good job of presenting our case, I guess. There's always a faction of folks that are going to be against the tax increase no matter what."
Tomball-area voters within ESD 15—which contracts with the Tomball Fire Department to provide services—voted May 5 on a property tax rate ceiling increase in the district. The proposition, which was placed on the ballot to help ESD 15 fund full-time staffing of a fourth fire station in Tomball, would have allowed the district’s property tax rate ceiling to increase from about 5 cents per $100 valuation to 10 cents per $100 valuation, Roth previously said.
The fourth fire station the district hopes to construct would be located on Mahaffey Road. However, the defeated proposition has caused the station to be put on hold indefinitely. Roth said commissioners may bring the tax proposition to voters again but only after working to better inform district residents about the commissioners' intentions for a tax rate cap increase, he said.
"We just had some people who didn't understand the need for a fire station," Roth said.