Referendum 2012. Golden Gate Fire Control & Rescue District. Minutes Matter!. Timely response is essential for effective outcomes in emergencies. Extended response times adversely impact these outcomes.
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Timely response is essential for effective outcomes in emergencies.
Extended response times adversely impact these outcomes.
Fire District again faces funding crisis that will impact our ability to maintain existing level of service.
Not a Tax Increase - Not a New Tax
The referendum in 2009 increased our millage cap from 1.0 to 1.5 mills, but since then we have experienced:
Continuing decline of property values;
Continually rising operating costs;
Weak economy that is relentlessly impacting our residents.
Between FY2009 and FY 2011, the District’s budget dropped by $1,525,000 and shift staffing was reduced by almost 25%.
Impact managed via reductions in personnel, savings in controllable operating costs, deferment of principal debt payments, and other measures.
Cost-cutting measures include:
Eleven positions eliminated (16% of workforce) with payroll-related savings of $1,345,000;
Employee benefits reduction, saving $33,000 immediately, with greater savings projected;
Refinanced debt loads to improve cash flow, recovering approx. $380,000 annually;
Changed various operating practices.
Important operating changes included:
We project ad valorem value decline of an additional 9% with associated revenue decline.
There will be other adverse budget impacts from non-renewing savings of previous years.
Projected budget shortfall is estimated to be approximately $900,000.
Budget shortfall of $900,000 will result in 15
more emergency response positions lost,
Two more response units shut down, daily;
Two fire stations closed;
Dramatic impact on response times;
Likely impact to insurance premiums.
Focus group meetings were conducted with area residents to get their input on this problem. The majority did not want to see service reductions.
A temporary funding change was recommended, increasing the maximum millage tax rate (cap), and mandating a sunset provision.
The only available revenue option that may be implemented in time to prevent service reduction is an increase of the ad valorem millage cap. It must be approved in January’s primary to avoid forced service reduction.
Increase the maximum millage rate (cap) from 1.5 mills to 2.75 mills, and sunset this temporary cap after five years.
REFERENDUM TO INCREASE GOLDEN GATE FIRE DISTRICT’S MAXIMUM MILLAGE TAX RATE FOR LIMITED PERIOD
To prevent further reduction of life safety and property protection, shall the Golden Gate Fire Control and Rescue District be authorized to increase the ad valorem millage maximum rate that it may levy from the 1.5 mills approved by referendum in 2009, up to 2.75 mills, for five fiscal years beginning with the 2012-2013 year and to levy such millage rate above statutorily mandated rollback rates, in order to meet the District’s operating costs?