SoCo Tax Supports Bodega Bay Fire District Parcel Tax

The Sonoma County Taxpayers Association has reviewed the Bodega Bay Fire Protection District’s parcel tax known as Measure A on the April 8, 2014 ballot.  After careful analysis of the Fire District’s financial situation and the details of the parcel tax, the Taxpayers Association offers our support of the parcel tax, with reservations.

The Taxpayers Association understands that the BBFPD has limited options to fund operations of the district, and that the Board of Directors has explored alternative financing options.  It is understood that a large percentage of the recipients of services from the BBFPD are non-residents and do not pay taxes to the District.  The Taxpayers Association commends the District for its attempts to recover costs from those non-residents receiving services, but encourages the District to be more aggressive in collecting those revenues.

The Taxpayers Association also observes that the BBFPD is a well-run District with a declining population, and no apparent waste or inappropriate spending.  The Taxpayers Association believes that, if the residents and voters of the District are willing to increase their taxes in order to support their Fire District, the Taxpayers Association would have no objection to that parcel tax.

However, the SCTA has reservations about the taxation formula.  It is apparent that the District has chosen to most heavily tax property owners who are unlikely to be registered voters in the district.  This is a cynical device which allows the tax rate applied to parcels whose owners reside and vote in the district to be lower than it would be if all similar parcels were taxes at the same rate.

We believe that the necessity of maintaining adequate staffing and functional equipment outweighs the flawed tax structure.  Therefore the Sonoma County Taxpayers Association offers our qualified support to the Bodega Bay Fire Protection District for the parcel tax known as Measure A.

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