I’m voting No on Nov 5th for the $0.12 levy increase requested by the Mid-County Fire Protection District (MCFPD). It’s not that I don’t like Fire Fighters. They’re brave individuals and will give up their lives to save property and life. They’ve responded to incidents in my neighborhood and have performed admirably. However, they haven’t justified to me that a 12 cent increase above the current $0.5151 levy is needed.
Your newspaper reported yesterday (October 29, 2012) in a front page story that the current levy is $0.2653, which is not correct. Your paper also reported errors in the fire district levies of surrounding communities for comparison.
The 2012 MCFPD levy (confirmed by the Camden County Assessor’s office) is $0.5151. A 12 cent increase equates to a 23.3% increase on that part of everyone’s tax bills (real estate tax and personal property) going to Mid-county. For a hypothetical house with a County appraised value of $100,000, the assessed value would be $19,000 (19% of the appraised value). The tax going to MCFPD based on the 2012 levy of 0.5151 is $97.87. A 12 cent increase in the levy will add $22.80 to this house’s real estate tax bill. If the owner has personal property, this tax will go up too. My total tax (real and personal property) will increase about $56.00…too much for someone on a fixed retirement income.
MCFPD needs to tell the voters what the adverse impacts will be if they don’t get the increase. Yesterday’s story attributed Chief Frandsen as saying there’s no telling what could be cut if a proposed levy increase doesn’t pass in the Nov 5th election. In the October 14 letter and brochure from the Board of Directors we all received in the mail, there were no details of the impacts of not getting this “minimum request”. If a week before the election and only 2 months before the new tax year the Chief still can’t articulate the impacts, then I’m not ready to vote “for” the increase.
Voters deserve a detailed accounting of what the impact will be if this levy increase isn’t approved. Until a convincing list of impacts is provided, I’m voting No and I ask the voters to do the same.