Fire District Tax Increase Proposed
Last updated 7/23/2018 at 10:48pm
For the first time in 24 years, all property owners in Borrego Springs will be asked to vote this coming November to triple their property taxes to pay for the increased cost of fire protection and emergency medical services.
On July 12, the Borrego Fire District Board of Directors approved a motion to place the issue before voters.
According to fire chief John Hardcastle, revenue is needed to retain good workers and be competitive in the market for new hires.
Hardcastle says Borregan fire fighters and paramedics, “are paid two-thirds less than in other agencies.”
The ballot proposal will require two-thirds of those casting votes to approve the measure. If approved, the annual tax, commencing FY2019-2020, will provide $720,000 in revenue per year until ended by voters. Samples of proposed increases are shown below:
Single Family Residence:
Now: $ 75 | Proposed: $225
Now: $60 | Proposed: $180
Now: $150/pcl* | Proposed: $450
Now: $100/pcl | Proposed: $300
Now: $100 | Proposed: $300
Irrigated Land/Golf Courses:
Now: $5/ac** | Proposed: $15
Now: $2.50/ac Proposed: $7.50
*pcl=parcel // ac=acre
At the Board meeting, fire fighters expressed their financial concerns about commuting costs from communities around the Southland. On the other side of the issue, one citizen raised concerns about affordability of the propose increase.
But it will be up to Borregan voters who will decide in November if they want pay the property tax increase to bring pay rates for fire fighters and paramedics more in line with other agencies.