From the Chief's Desk

From the Chief's Desk

Why is a millage cap increase needed?

The Tice Fire District Board of Commissioners is asking our constituents to consider authorizing an increase to our millage cap from 3.00 to 3.75 mills.

· The issue has been placed on the ballot for the August 26, 2014 (primary) election.

· Our current millage rate is 3.00. This rate was established in 1993.

· If the entire .75 mill was levied on a residence with a taxable value of $100,000 the increase would be $75.00 annually.

Why is a millage cap increase needed?

· 16 firefighters currently being paid from SAFER Grant funding which will expire in 2015.

· With declining property values, the District has lost 43% of our ad valorem tax revenue.

· Any reduction in service would likely lead to higher property insurance premiums for property owners and businesses.

Prudent stewards of taxpayers dollars:

· To make up for the lost revenue, the District has cut over $2.0 million in spending, eliminated 4 positions and has received grant funding from the Federal Government.

· When the economy was strong, the Fire Board voluntary lowered the millage rate, giving relief to taxpayers. The District millage rate was 2.67 in 2007 and 2.79 in 2008.

· We consistently apply for, and regularly receive grant money to help offset the local burden.

· We operate with no debt.

· We have not reduced our level of service to the community.

Financial information:

· Annual expenses today: $2.9 million

· Ad valorem income in 2013: $1.8 million

· Other income: SAFER Grant, $1.1 million

Limited options to fix the problem:

· Reduce services

· Increase revenue

· Wait for increased property values

· Ask for an increased millage cap rate to assist with financial stability.

We can only provide the level of fire protection that the people are willing to fund. It is our goal to educate so that they can make an informed decision.





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