BOLIVAR PENINSULA — Shopping on the Bolivar Peninsula may be a little more expensive after Tuesday’s election, but the property tax rate is expected to decrease.
Voters approved a 2 percent sales tax increase aimed at supporting the Bolivar Emergency Services District and ambulance and fire service on the peninsula. The district board, appointed by county commissioners, hopes to lower the property tax rate.
More than 69 percent of the 312 voters supported the proposal.
In May, voters overwhelmingly approved the creation of the Galveston County Emergency Services District No. 2 and the new property tax rate of 10 cents per $100 of assessed property value.
That tax is expected to raise about $800,000 in the next year to fund the ambulance service and three volunteer fire departments on the peninsula.
The ambulance service has four medical units and fields about 500 calls a year.
Because visitors account for about half of the medical calls on the peninsula, it made sense to institute a new sales tax to ease the property tax burden on residents, emergency services district board President Sid Bouse said.
The sales tax is expected to raise about $350,000 a year.
The district board will decide how much to lower the property tax rate based on the amount of sales tax revenue generated.
Ideally, the board hopes to lower the property tax rate to 7 cents per $100 of assessed property value and would like to lower it further to 5 cents, Bouse has said.
The district also depends on Galveston County Commissioners to provide some funding for emergency medical services on the peninsula.
At a glance
Bolivar 2% sales tax for emergency services
For 218 69.9%
Against 94 30.1%