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EDITOR’S OPINION: Why Ferris city residents should vote ‘NO’ on ESD 5 tax proposal

An Emergency Services District is a mechanism through which specific areas can ensure fire protection and emergency medical services. 

While they operate under Texas law, they are not directly part of the city or municipal government. 

Ellis County Emergency Services District 5, though headquartered in Ferris, stands as a separate entity from our city government. 



ESD 5 is governed by a Board of Emergency Commissioners, appointed by the Ellis County Commissioners Court. 

Their primary funding comes from property taxes, legally capped at $0.10 per $100 of home value, supplemented by sales tax. 

ESD 5 currently contracts with the City of Ferris for fire protection services for county residents. 

However, ESD 5 is proposing to independently manage these services, necessitating a tax increase. 

But here’s the problem – the revenue from county residents will not sustain this model. 

Essentially, city residents would be paying more for services they won’t benefit from, while county residents would enjoy city-level services without equitably contributing.



In 2024, a Ferris city resident, owning an average-priced home ($249,523), will contribute approximately $457.16 for local Fire, Police, and EMS services.

They’ll also pay an additional $61.61 for Fire and EMS services extending beyond the city. 



In contrast, those residing outside Ferris will only contribute $61.61 for Fire and EMS, without supporting city services. 

The proposed $0.03 per $100 valuation increase would skyrocket the EMS and Fire Services cost to $136.46 for homes of the same value, both inside and outside Ferris. 

This whopping 121.5% increase offers no added services or value to those within the Ferris city limits. In essence, city taxpayers would be footing the bill for fire services benefiting those outside Ferris, with no direct benefit to themselves. 

Before casting your vote, consider, “If I vote YES, what do I gain? How are my services enhanced?”



For a Ferris resident, your answer would be, “Absolutely nothing, other than an increased tax bill.” 

While a minor tax hike to elevate services might be justified, voting “YES” in this scenario means city residents shoulder the financial burden for county services. 

It’s essential to make an informed decision that serves the best interest of our city’s residents.


Vote “NO” on the ESD 5 tax proposal.

Ellis County Press

208 S Central St. 
Ferris, TX 75125