A new 1.5% sales tax in the Liberty City area will add more funds to firefighters’ efforts at Sabine Fire Department after more than 63 percent of voters backed the operation’s measure this election cycle.
Voters within Gregg County Emergency Services District No. 2 – which shares the same footprint as Sabine ISD – had an additional Proposition A on their ballots in addition to a slate of proposed amendments to the state constitution.
Among those, from unofficial results, a majority of voters across Texas turned out in support of an effort to restrict efforts to impose a statewide income tax.
Meanwhile, in Overton, voters returned city council incumbents for additional terms and added a new face to the dais.
In Sabine’s sales tax election, from the initial returns posted this week, 106 people cast votes early and 16 submitted absentee ballots in addition to 735 decisions cast during Election Day polling Tuesday.
Among the 857 votes, 544 people voted ‘Yes’ on the fire department’s push for additional funds, adding one-and-half-cents on every dollar spent inside ESD No. 2.
The emergency services district was established four years ago this month when voters adopted a property tax with a maximum cap of 10-cents per $100 valuation; after an initial 5-cent rate, the ESD’s board opted for the max. Most recently, SFD Chief Richard Sisk has been gathering support for the additional sales tax to fund expanded operations.
With the majority’s support this election season, “Man, I am excited: the community basically spoke with their votes, saying they wanted advanced, 24-hour emergency services,” Sisk said, “which is exactly what I’m looking for and what I want to achieve, with paid, Texas-commissioned firefighters, EMTs and paramedics.
“I’m just overwhelmed with the support this community has had toward this fire department. I’m determined and committed on those goals of providing that service.”
A similar measure failed this week in Rusk County ESD No. 1 – 1,442 voters rejected a 2% sales tax referendum compared to 1,311 in favor of the measure for that ESD, which supports four paid and 12 volunteer fire departments including operations in Overton.
In Overton, from unofficial returns, Mayor CR Evans retained his post with 66 percent of the vote, 268 decisions to 137 for challenger Susan Bobbitt.
Council member John Posey was also re-elected, to Place 2, with 222 votes (56 percent) compared to 117 for Lane Schurton and 59 for Crawford Bobbitt. Write-in candidate Reggie Johnson earned 281 votes to take the Place 4 seat on the council.
– with additional reporting by MRM news partners