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The Lake News Online
  • Assessed valuation increase equals lower tax rate and possibly enhanced staffing for fire district in 2015

  • The Sunrise Beach Fire Protection District is anticipating an increase in operating revenues in 2015 due to an increase in the district's total assessed valuation. The increased assessed valuation will result in a slightly lower property tax rate in addition to providing funds for a possible enhancement of staffing in the Route MM area next year.
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  • The Sunrise Beach Fire Protection District is anticipating an increase in operating revenues in 2015 due to an increase in the district's total assessed valuation. The increased assessed valuation will result in a slightly lower property tax rate in addition to providing funds for a possible enhancement of staffing in the Route MM area next year.
    At a public hearing Monday night, the board of directors set the district's property tax rate for next year at a lower rate than 2014.
    The operating levy was set at $0.5038 per $100 of assessed valuation and the debt service levy was set at $0.1540 per $100 of assessed valuation, making the combined levy a rate of $0.6578.
    This is a slight reduction from this year's combined rate of $0.6702. The Hancock Amendment requires district's to lower rates with an increase in total assessed valuation but does allow increases for cost of living - using the consumer price index - and for new construction.
    Even with the lower rate, the district anticipates an increase of operating funds of approximately $60,000, according to Sunrise Beach Fire Chief Dennis Reilly.
    “I am happy that there will be a slight reduction in the tax rates while allowing the District to increase its funding. Our top priorities for 2015 will be to maintain the enhanced level of service we have been able to build and move forward with some staffing arrangement for our number 3 fire station on Spruce Drive off Highway MM," Reilly said.
    While department officials do not think the increase of funds will allow for full-time staffing of Station 3, but they do believe that some type of enhancement to staffing in the Route MM area will be feasible in 2015.
    “Our long term goal is to staff our station 3, but we must do this in a way that does not place an undue burden on our community,” Reilly said.
    Based on statistical analysis, the travel times and run activity along the MM corridor do justify the staffing of the fire house, he added, but must done through a plan that is sustainable financially.
    The district currently staffs one station on Route TT full time.

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