Santa Cruz County inches closer to putting new fire tax on ballot

Full story: Santa Cruz Sentinel

The campaign for a new tax to boost county fire service got its unofficial start this week.

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boondoggle

Oakland, CA

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#1
Sep 16, 2010
 
Ya, another tax increase on top of all the taxes we pay already? I just don't get it. I think we need to cut those fat salaries these sup's are making. What the heck are they getting paid for??? Every time you turn araound they are spending more $$ on another consultant.
John Galt

Santa Cruz, CA

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#2
Sep 16, 2010
 

Judged:

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The planning for a tax or fee increase has been underway for over a year.

If it were announced that a decision had actually been made to seek a fee increase, then the expense of a “public education” program just might be considered to be an illegal use of public funds for electioneering purposes.

A “public opinion poll” taken earlier in the year at a cost approaching $30,000 is thought to indicate that a fee increase for fire services MIGHT be approved if voters are properly educated in advance of the vote.

See: http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/ci_15019860...

Most importantly, a tax or fee increase is NOT NEEDED to properly fund County Fire. The needed funds are already in the hands of the County.

In 1993, the voters of the State and of Santa Cruz County approved Proposition 172, a one-half cent sales tax that, we were told, would provide the needed funds for Public Safety including FIRE SERVICES.

The text of Proposition 172 may be found at:
http://holmes.uchastings.edu/cgi-bin/starfind...

Santa Cruz County expects to receive just over $13,000,000 (thirteen million) dollars in Proposition 172 Public Safety funds this year (down from just over sixteen million in 2005/2006).

See: http://sccounty01.co.santa-cruz.ca.us/prop_bu...

The problem is that the County chooses to NOT FUND fire services from Proposition 172 funds to any significant extent. Of the 13 Million for Public Safety this year, NONE of those funds are allocated to the Fire Service. Over the past 13 years, a minuscule portion of Proposition 172 Public Safety funds has gone to Fire Service.

The 2007-2008 County Grand Jury concluded that:
“Proposition 172 funds seem disproportionately distributed”.

See “What is County Fire”, the Grand Jury report located at:
http://www.co.santa-cruz.ca.us/grandjury/GJ20...

We were promised, if we voted for Proposition 172, then funding would be available for Fire Services. That did not happen.

The County needs to save the “education” money, scrap any fee increase plans and deliver on the promise of Proposition 172.
Soquel Local

Marina, CA

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#3
Sep 17, 2010
 
$195K salary for battalion chiefs in Santa Cruz and now they want more money? Fire fighters need to come to grips with the fact that they are in a low skill job (six weeks to become a fire fighter)and that they are worth tops $70K with overtime. Don't even get me started on their criminal pensions.
Reality Check

United States

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#4
Sep 17, 2010
 
John Galt wrote:
...A “public opinion poll” taken earlier in the year at a cost approaching $30,000 is thought to indicate that a fee increase for fire services MIGHT be approved if voters are properly educated in advance of the vote...
Educated, or "re-educated"?

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