Voters to Decide on Tax Increase for ...

Voters to Decide on Tax Increase for Rock Community Fire District

There are 22 comments on the Patch.com story from Jan 17, 2013, titled Voters to Decide on Tax Increase for Rock Community Fire District. In it, Patch.com reports that:

Voters in the Rock Community Fire Protection District will be deciding on a $10 million bond issue that would end up costing taxpayers between 9 and 10 cents per $100 of assessed valuation.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Patch.com.

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Love My Fire District

Arnold, MO

#22 Jan 20, 2013
Stop Wasteful Spending wrote:
It is reasonable for citizens to expect high quality emergency services. But, at what cost?
Mehlville Fire Protection District provides both fire services and EMS. The property tax rate is $0.697. They receive no sales taxes. That's right, fire and ambulance services for $0.697.
Fenton Fire Protection District provides both fire and EMS for a property tax rate of $0.661. Again, no sales tax revenue support for both fire and ambulance.
Rock Community Fire Protection District only provides fire services. The ambulance district is a separate entity. Rock Fire has a property tax rate of $0.707 plus a 1/2 cent sales tax. Rock Ambulance has a property tax rate of $0.21 plus a sales tax rate of 1/4 cent.
In 2012, I paid property taxes of $352 to Rock Fire plus approximately $150 in sales taxes for a total of $502. I also paid property taxes of $104 to Rock Ambulance plus approximately $75 in sales taxes for a total of $179. My combined costs for fire and ambulance services were $681 in 2012.
By contract, if my house were located in the Mehlville Fire Protection District, my 2012 cost would have been $347 for both fire and ambulance services. If my house were located in the Fenton Fire Protection District, my 2012 cost would have been $329 for both fire and ambulance services.
If neighboring fire districts can provide combined fire/ambulance services for less than Rock Fire can provide fire services only, something is wrong. The cost of Rock Fire services have risen 50% since 2005, and they claim to need another 13.4% boost in property tax rate to support the reckless spending.
If you like Fenton and Mehlville fire district rates so much, why don't you sell your home and move there? I like it here, I like my fire department and I voted to give them the sales tax they asked for. If you voted against that, then sorry, you were outvoted. Simple as that. I seem to recall that the City of Arnold had an agreement that Rock Community was supposed to receive a half million dollar fire truck in that deal for development of Arnold Commons, what happened to that?
Love fiscal restraint

Malden, MO

#23 Jan 20, 2013
We all get the concept of majority vote wins. But thanks for explaining it again.

If other fire districts can operate at substantially lower tax rates, Rock Fire should be able to explain why its taxpayers must pay substantially more for its services. No one should have to move (as you suggest) out of the district for that discussion to take place.

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