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ConFire Places Parcel Tax Measure on Ballot

The Contra Costa County Fire Protection District board Tuesday placed a $75 per parcel per year parcel tax measure on the November ballot.

A looming financial crunch and the potential loss of service capability and stations within the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District drove a 4-1 board decision asking residents for an extra $75 per year to help defray costs.

Tuesday's bid to place the parcel tax measure on the November ballot was not made lightly, district officials said. Supervisor Candace Andersen of Danville was the holdout vote in the 4-1 decision.

If approved by the voters in November, the $75 per parcel per year tax is expected to generate an additional $16.8 million a year and enable the district to maintain service, which is suffering due to eroding property tax revenues.

"Asking the voters to support a revenue measure is a last resort during this tough economy," United Professional Fire Fighters of Contra Costa County President Vince Wells said in a prepared statement. "But it is a critical piece of the long term plan to make up for essential revenue lost from property taxes and to maintain the 911 emergency services that keep our community safe."

The district, known by its shorthand name of ConFire, ranks among the 14 largest metropolitan fire agencies in the state.

It provides fire and emergency medical services to nine cities and serves a population of 600,000 across a 304-square-mile area with 30 fire stations.

If approved, the tax would go into effect July 1, 2013 and end June 30, 2020. Without it, fire Chief Daryl Louder said the district would have to close between seven and 10 fire stations and lay off firefighters.

Bud Burlison August 03, 2012 at 08:19 PM
Pretty mysterious sources, I'd say. The google site doesn't seem to show that $400,000 number anywhere. Honestly, Ms Harrison, I probably don't need a lot of instruction in "how pensions work' and the status of my wages when I invested them in Calpers. I'm just interested in the credibility of your information.
Wendy Harrison August 03, 2012 at 08:38 PM
Well, you can just call me Senator Harry Reid.
Bud Burlison August 03, 2012 at 09:02 PM
More like Paul Ryan.
Bud Burlison August 04, 2012 at 03:17 AM
I think it's important that the point of this blog is whether the voters think it's important for their public safety to; either vote for the parcel tax (which will maintain the present safety level) or; vote against it. A vote against it will guarantee a diminished level of agency response, and a diminshed level of public safety that those who vote against are responsible for. Know your neighbors. Ask them if they feel personally responsible for your public safety.If you vote in favor of the parcel tax, you may tell them that you are a caring neighbor and their welfare is in your best interest.
WENDY LACK August 04, 2012 at 05:47 AM
There are some links on the county taxpayers association website that you might find of interest -- especially the list of the 200+ firefighters with pensions over $100K: http://cocotax.org/Default.aspx?pageId=1369648

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