By Donna Westfall – June 23, 2021
While we can all agree that fire services are needed, that we support Fire Departments and Emergency Services…questions about their budget and taxing ideas are abundant.
For example NO SUNSET CLAUSE. That means in order to get rid of one more tax foisted on the taxpayers, it has to go to the ballot to have it reversed. The last time the Fire District had a tax approved was 34 years ago. It also does not have a sunset clause, but raises $147,000 a year. People are asking, “Isn’t it time we started looking at their financials?”
Another example, adding a 2% COST OF LIVING feature to the current proposed tax assessment. How many of you get an automatic 2% cost of living?
Reasons why this Fire Tax is UNFAIR:
- Out of 2,000 call-outs last year, only 11% are fire related. 63% are medical related. And, even though people have asked about billing their insurance, it doesn’t seem to be a standard practice.
- $1,000 cap on multi-family owners. Example: Walt Miller owns 280 units at Sea Wood Apartments. If they were single family residences at $74 a unit, that would be over $20,000 a year. But he and others like him were offered a discount because his/their rate will be capped at $1,000 a year. How do you think he/they will vote?
- Weighted ballots. I don’t even know how to explain this as I don’t understand it. If something is too complicated, it creates confusion.
- What other avenues have they exhausted in their search for money other than only looking at the taxpayer?
- After the first ballot count, the NO side won. THEN it was discovered that a YES vote was in the NO pile. Thus the Fire District Board voted to do a recount on June 28th.
- Just months ago, the Fire District lost this election at the ballot box. But they are determined to win come hell or high water by repeating the ballot process AND spending taxpayer dollars to do so.
The biggest concerns are this:
Single Family Residence owners will be on the hook for $98 total a year if this tax passes. We are just coming out of a pandemic that crippled our economy. The timing is horrible. In addition to this tax, the City and County got their sales tax raised. It will be another year before an initiative or referendum can be placed on the ballot. Our sales tax is now higher than Sacramento’s. Crescent City is looking at increasing water and sewer rates. Utility companies likewise. Plus our federal government has made such bad decisions that inflation is rising each and every month on basics like gasoline and food. Are we going to be following in the footsteps of Venezuela with hyperinflation currently at over 9,000%? That’s right over nine thousand percent!
Please attend the picket Thursday at 5 pm June 24th. The Fire District offices are located at 255 W. Washington Blvd. in Crescent City.
It’s clear the Fire Tax is UNFAIR. Let’s see if we can get their attention to negotiate something a little more reasonable.