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ConFire Places Parcel Tax Measure on Ballot

The Contra Costa County Fire Protection District board on Tuesday placed a $75 per parcel per year parcel tax measure on the November ballot.

A looming financial crunch and the potential loss of service capability and stations within the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District drove a 4-1 board decision asking residents for an extra $75 per year to help defray costs.

Tuesday's bid to place the parcel tax measure on the November ballot was not made lightly, district officials said. Supervisor Candace Andersen of Danville was the holdout vote in the 4-1 decision.

The district provides fire service in unincorporated areas outside Pinole city limits and by contractual agreement coordinates with the Pinole Fire Department for mutual response in those areas and within Pinole when needed.

If approved by the voters in November, the $75 per parcel per year tax is expected to generate an additional $16.8 million a year and enable the district to maintain service, which is suffering due to eroding property tax revenues.

"Asking the voters to support a revenue measure is a last resort during this tough economy," United Professional Fire Fighters of Contra Costa County President Vince Wells said in a prepared statement. "But it is a critical piece of the long term plan to make up for essential revenue lost from property taxes and to maintain the 9-1-1 emergency services that keep our community safe."

The district, known by its shorthand name of ConFire, ranks among the 14 largest metropolitan fire agencies in the state.

It provides fire and emergency medical services to nine cities and serves a population of 600,000 across a 304-square-mile area with 30 fire stations.

If approved, the tax would go into effect July 1, 2013 and end June 30, 2020. Without it, fire Chief Daryl Louder said the district would have to close between seven and 10 fire stations and lay off firefighters.

Redrock August 06, 2012 at 10:51 PM
What happens to non-public employees when the stock market tanks…? Their 401K tanks right along with them. What happens to a public-union employee when the stock market tanks….? Absolutely nothing! They will have a source of guaranteed pension for life. Yes, there have been some reforms in which current public-unions are now forced to pay more or have benefits expire. BUT there are tens of thousands of retired pensioners we are fully funding regardless of stock market performance- because they have a PUBLIC UNION guarantee. The sweetheart safety net of all bureaucrats! When the economy tanks, the pensioners get paid and the private citizens are forced to foot their lavish lifestyles through UUT, property tax and whatever BS revenue program the city and state legislature can think of.. You want me to pay an extra 75 dollars…? Fine but every retired, public employee has to forfeit that amount as well from their monthly pension check. … Now that would be shared sacrifice!
George Parsons August 07, 2012 at 01:03 AM
Hey, Rock...might help to read your stuff before you hit submit. Retired government employees will be paying the $75 parcel tax same as you. Retired government employees will pay the UUT if passed. Retired government employees pay property taxes, sales taxes and every other tax that others pay...we also pay taxes on our retirement pensions to both state and federal agencies...I'll keep the $75 per month you propose I forfeit, thanks very much...need the money to support my lavish life style and frequent cruises and of course shuffleboard on the "Liddo" deck. Time for cocktails and caviar...ciao!
Redrock August 07, 2012 at 01:28 AM
Believe me Jorge... I read my post before I sent it. And where do "you" retired government employeess get your pension money? It certainly isn't from your cheap b@st@rd @ss.
None August 07, 2012 at 02:09 AM
I’m not against Firefighters or the police and never have been, no one can place any blame on a Firefighter or a Policeman for this fiscal problem, but there is a problem that is having a very negative effect on our entire tax paying population. We have an unsustainable fiscal problem and the only way to fix it is to change it. Take a look at where “Our” politicians go to get support when they want to get elected. They go directly to the Public Employee’s Unions. They go to the teachers, the prison guards, the service workers and to the nurses for their financial support and then, who determines the benefit package for these represented folks? It just happens to be “Our” Elected Representatives. The problem is, they represent the big dollars that got them elected, but now, who pays the bill? There will have to be some change in this system or we will all be living in a city that has declared bankruptcy.
Redrock August 07, 2012 at 03:56 AM
@RJ And a powerful lobby it is. Less than 1% percent of California’s +/- 30 million population are “public union employees” and guess who has the sweetest deal when it comes to lifelong [taxpayer funded] retirement pension and medical benefits? Do you think for a given minute the tenured members in prison, police and fire who are making close to $200K a year in overtime care about potential cutbacks? This is the greatest financial ponzi scam played against honest tax paying citizens. And they are the same people supposedly protecting us from predators and criminals. They look in the mirror every morning and think they are doing God’s work, when they are robbing us blind! Their biggest rape of society [they are sworn to protect], is "double dipping." They work and retire in one city after 10-15 years, receive full benefits, then start over again in another municipality with the same golden parachute. Liars and thieves every last one of them... Playing the system “ha ha-wink wink” just like Romney… all happening in front of our eyes and tax paying dime!

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