Rock Fire Tax Increase

Rock Fire Tax Increase

Posted in the Eureka Forum

Citizen Kane

Malden, MO

#1 Mar 23, 2013
Rock Community Fire Protection District has a proposition on the April 2 ballot seeking authorization to issue $10 Mil of bond financing.

The ballot does not tell you that approval of the bond issue will cause your property taxes to increase. Not transparent. Sneaky really.

Approval of this bond issue will require a property tax increase of about 10 cents.

How many time has Rock Community Fire Protection District (RCFPD) raised tax rates?
1998 - RCFPD added 10 cents to property tax rate
1999 - RCFPD added 5 cents to property tax rate
2000 - RCFPD added 5 cents to property tax rate
2001 - RCFPD added 5 cents to property tax rate
2002 - RCFPD added 2 cents to property tax rate
2003 - RCFPD added 2 cents to property tax rate
2004 - RCFPD added 1 cent to property tax rate
2005 - RCFPD added a half-cent sales tax

The sales tax revenue is equal to about 42 cents of property tax rate. This sales tax require RCFPD to roll back property tax rates.

2006 - RCFDP - no property tax rollback
2007 - RCFPD - no property tax rollback
2008 - RCFPD rolled back about 19 cents
2009 - RCFPD rolled back about 2 cents
2010 - RCFPD rolled back about 1 cent
2011 - RCFPD rolled back about 2 cents
2012 - RCFPD rolled back about 1 cent

2013 - RCFDP asking for additional 10 cents

RCFPD tells you that "taxes you pay to your fire district are the only taxes that save you money on your property insurance rates."

RCFPD fails to mention the 2013 proposed tax increase will not lower your property insurance rates.

Yes, everyone wants excellent fire protection, but at what cost? RCFPD seems to have an insatiable appetite for more tax money. Already, RCFPD services are more costly than most fire services in the metro area.

Please consider voting NO on the Rock Fire bond issue proposal. Enough is enough. They need to better manage their budget.
Aaron

Arnold, MO

#2 Mar 23, 2013
I completely agree that the Rock Community Fire Departent needs to learn how to budget better. Right now is just not the right time to be asking the citizens of Arnold to be paying more when times are so bad. Also considering that the fox district just had there bond issue approved.
All Red

Saint Louis, MO

#3 Mar 23, 2013
We need to privatize the fire service.

Studies show that areas with privatized fire services cost far less than traditional fire department/districts, but still provide excellent services.
Money Manager

Saint Louis, MO

#4 Mar 23, 2013
I agree. How many huge fire trucks do we need at every fender bender?
Manage your money. We have enough Taj Mahals and fire trucks. I'm voting 'NO'.
Snow Drift

Arnold, MO

#5 Mar 24, 2013
Folks, don't reward the fire district on election day by giving them more money. It will be misspent.

When voters approved the fire district sales tax, they soon had lots of extra cash in the bank. In their misguided effort to hide it, they over contributed to their pension plan by several hundred thousand dollars. A big chunk of the cash was lost when the stock market dropped sharply. The state put the pension plan into "watch" status. Once again, the fire district has over contributed to get the plan off "watch" status. The whole process wasted lots of tax money. And now they want more.
Snow Drift

Arnold, MO

#6 Mar 24, 2013
On a related note, the fire district has a specific tax levy to support the pension plan. Then they have a specific levy to support communication costs. And they also have a large levy to support the general fund.

Every year in addition to all the pension tax money, the fire board deposits large sums of general fund money into the pension plan. If the general fund money was kept in the general fund, they probably would not need to ask voters for more taxes on April 2.
Rescue Me

Arnold, MO

#7 Mar 25, 2013
One justification the fire district uses for their proposed tax increase is to enable a refinancing of existing debt.

The fire district does not need voter approval or a tax increase in order to refinance their bonds. In fact, it is irresponsible that the fire district has delayed refinancing their debt into lower cost interest rates. The fire district has been wasting taxpayer money paying higher interest rates for many months when they could have been saving money by refinancing a year ago.

One more reason to vote down another tax increase.
Snow Drift

Arnold, MO

#8 Mar 25, 2013
Support you local Rock Township Ambulance District and the firefighters that protect your assets.
Tim

Kansas City, MO

#9 Mar 25, 2013
Looks like a certain fox school district board member is making more poor decisions!
rock vs rock

United States

#10 Mar 25, 2013
Rock Ambulance and Rock Fire are 2 different departments that receive separate money from property and sales tax. Rock Fire is on Aprils ballot, not Rock Ambulance.
Taxpayer

United States

#11 Mar 25, 2013
Vote NO on the Rock Fire Bond issue.
Too much waste, no management of finances.
Make them manage what they have!!
Please

Imperial, MO

#12 Mar 27, 2013
Rescue Me wrote:
One justification the fire district uses for their proposed tax increase is to enable a refinancing of existing debt.
The fire district does not need voter approval or a tax increase in order to refinance their bonds. In fact, it is irresponsible that the fire district has delayed refinancing their debt into lower cost interest rates. The fire district has been wasting taxpayer money paying higher interest rates for many months when they could have been saving money by refinancing a year ago.
One more reason to vote down another tax increase.
Bonds cannot be refinanced unless they mature. So your speaking incorrectly when you say the should have already refinanced. It is my opinion from reading about this, they are paying off the first set with the bond money they will get if approved. To make that debt at a lower rate. I think like nothing else is easy to say funds are misspent but unless you go over their budget line for line to see, your again speaking ot of turn.
EyesWideShut

Saint Louis, MO

#13 Mar 27, 2013
Please wrote:
<quoted text>
Bonds cannot be refinanced unless they mature. So your speaking incorrectly when you say the should have already refinanced. It is my opinion from reading about this, they are paying off the first set with the bond money they will get if approved. To make that debt at a lower rate. I think like nothing else is easy to say funds are misspent but unless you go over their budget line for line to see, your again speaking ot of turn.
Bonds (like the mortgage on your house) can be refinanced at anytime. Don't fool yourself into thinking otherwise. Interest rates have been extraordinarily low for many months. The fire district has wasted money by not refinancing its debt a year or more ago.

The fire district board has failed to explain why the district's fire services are so costly. Why do Rock Fire services cost the average homeowner so much more than other fire districts? Maybe it is the never ending spending binge.
EyesWideOpen

Imperial, MO

#14 Mar 27, 2013
EyesWideShut wrote:
<quoted text>
Bonds (like the mortgage on your house) can be refinanced at anytime. Don't fool yourself into thinking otherwise. Interest rates have been extraordinarily low for many months. The fire district has wasted money by not refinancing its debt a year or more ago.
The fire district board has failed to explain why the district's fire services are so costly. Why do Rock Fire services cost the average homeowner so much more than other fire districts? Maybe it is the never ending spending binge.
You are most certainly wrong! You need to do some research. Since you know so much why don't you call a bank and talk to someone that knows. Better yet, call the chief of Rock Fire and ask him his explanation then ask for the bank they are using. Call that bank get there opinions then call you own bank of your choice and ask them. Don't spread false rumors. There is such a thing as a call date and sometimes the call dates are different, in which you cannot I repeat cannot refinance them until those call dates. PERIOD. Unless you willing to o he homework, I myself wouldn't speak out of turn.
Whew

Imperial, MO

#15 Mar 27, 2013
rock vs rock wrote:
Rock Ambulance and Rock Fire are 2 different departments that receive separate money from property and sales tax. Rock Fire is on Aprils ballot, not Rock Ambulance.
Good catch CC.
EyesWideShut

Arnold, MO

#16 Mar 27, 2013
EyesWideOpen wrote:
<quoted text>
You are most certainly wrong! You need to do some research. Since you know so much why don't you call a bank and talk to someone that knows. Better yet, call the chief of Rock Fire and ask him his explanation then ask for the bank they are using. Call that bank get there opinions then call you own bank of your choice and ask them. Don't spread false rumors. There is such a thing as a call date and sometimes the call dates are different, in which you cannot I repeat cannot refinance them until those call dates. PERIOD. Unless you willing to o he homework, I myself wouldn't speak out of turn.
As a long time bond investor, I am quite confident in my knowledge of bonds. I can assure you that if a bank is buying the fire district bonds in a negotiated transaction, the fire district is not getting the best deal. Apparently the bond are not being bid. If so, this would another mistake by a board acting with limited understanding of bonds.

And obviously, you do not understand the concept of defeasing bonds to get around call dates.

As a fire board member, you cannot be expected to know all about bonds. Unfortunately, your commenst show the knowledge deficit on this topic.

If someone has you believing the excuse that a bond refinancing could not take place earlier, I would find a new investment banker.

Again, fire district dollars have been wasted on excess interest costs by delaying a bond refinancing until now.
La-Wheezy-Ana

Arnold, MO

#17 Mar 27, 2013
Gimme all da money!!!!

Gimme Gimme Gimme!!!

Gonna buy bigger fire trucks and bigger pensions.

Mo taxes!!! Yep, mo and mo taxes!!!

Cause we da fire district!!!
rock vs rock

Arnold, MO

#18 Mar 28, 2013
What a Hoosier.
rock sissors paper

Arnold, MO

#19 Mar 29, 2013
Isn't it against the law for the fire district to have signs on its property advoating that voters vote "yes" on their ballot proposal?

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