Posted 10:25 p.m. CST
According to unofficial results, voters passed the Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department's proposal to collect 1 percent in sales tax revenue from purchases made in its service area. One thousand people voted in the election, with 597 in favor and 403 against.
The extra collections will result in an estimated extra $6 million annually for the department. The extra money will be spent on equipment, required mandates, expanding ambulance services and constructing several new fire stations.
"I think it was the right choice by voters," said Bob Janusaitis, commissioner for ESD No. 9. "We think it was a fair solution, and we're pleased at the outcome."
The Cy-Fair VFD serves 155 square miles of unincorporated northwest Harris County, including the majority of Cy-Fair ISD. The department has collected 6 cents per $100 value in taxes since 1994, but the service area has grown in population from about 247,800 to nearly 411,000 residents in the last 10 years.
In unincorporated Harris County, consumers pay 7.25 percent sales tax on purchased items, as opposed to 8.25 percent in most cities, with the exception of utility districts that have entered into a strategic partnership agreement with the City of Houston. In the Cy-Fair VFD's service area, about 20 percent, or 18,865 of more than 24,000 businesses belong to an SPA, meaning the department will only collect the extra sales tax from the remaining 5,135 businesses.
All results are unofficial until canvassed.