I’m so sad to say this: please do not vote yes for the fire annexation levy.
Soon we’ll vote on a new measure for our fire and emergency medical services. We already pay a line item of $900,000 for these services in our annual city budget. If we vote yes to add it to our property taxes, the line item expense will disappear from our city budget, but our $900,000 stays in the budget to be spent on something else without a vote.
This does not feel fair to us taxpayers.
As costs rose in recent years, we haven’t paid our fair share for fire/EMS services, and we ought to adjust and pay the same amount as the county does. But why don’t we do that in our annual budget? Why tax us more?
Our city is in debt and needs to find more money. We are still paying off the huge over-budget costs to renovate our city hall in 2006. What better way than to tax us in a new way for a service we are already paying for, and then keep the money from the original tax in the annual budget to use every year?
This isn’t the first time we’ve been asked to tax ourselves for something we’re already paying for. In 2008, our city put before us a levy for our library and said if we taxed ourselves to pay for the library, the budgeted money would help fund our city parks and offer branch library services in Castle Hill. Neither of these things has happened.
Let’s find a fair way to pay for our emergency services without paying twice forever.