Fire Protection Rate Hike Proposed
The economic downturn will likely result in a rate hike for fire protection in Los Angeles County.
At Tuesday's board meeting Los Angeles County Supervisors are expected to approve a request by L.A. County Fire Chief Daryl L. Osby for the fiscal year 2011-2012 levy of the Consolidated Fire Protect District’s special tax.
The rate for a single family home would increase by $4.87 from $56.17 to $61.04.
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County officials say the special tax would generate an estimated $73.5 million for fire protection and emergency medical services throughout the District, an increase of $6 million from 2010-11.
“For several years, property tax growth enabled the District to recommend levying rates lower than those approved by the voters in 1997. However, the continued economic downturn and resultant drop in property tax revenue now necessitates this rate adjustment,” say Los Angeles County officials.
On June 3, 1997, voters in 48 cities including Santa Clarita approved a special tax for fire prevention and paramedic services.
The special tax rates were approved, based upon property use type and size of improvements, to be annually adjusted by a maximum of the lesser of 2 percent or the California Consumer Price Index.
The Board of Supervisors is considering a recommendation authorizing loans from the Valencia, Bouquet Canyon, and Eastside Bridge and Major Thoroughfare Construction Fee Districts to the Westside Bridge and Major Thoroughfare Construction Fee District in amounts not to exceed $3,500,000, $10,500,000, and $7,000,000, respectively.
Steve Burger, Principal Engineer for the L.A. County Department of Public Works, calls the transfer routine in order to fund large projects. The loan will be repaid over a 10-year period.
Gail Ortiz, Communications Manager for the City of Santa Clarita says these are county funds and do not affect the city.