Promised and Delivered: Results from the 2004-2014 Fire Sales Tax and Public Safety Trust Fund

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Voters will decide on Nov. 4, 2014, whether to extend the expiring half of the original Fire Sales Tax, which was approved by voters in 2004. Funding from the Fire Sales Tax supports the operations of the Fire Department. Some general funds originally allocated to the Fire Department are then made available for the public safety projects below and proposed in the Fire Sales Tax renewal.

Fire Tax History

The first Fire Tax approved by voters in 2004 was a one-quarter of one percent (1/4 of 1%) sales tax to fund fire and police department expenses. Half of that revenue source, which is one-eighth of one percent (1/8 of 1%), is permanent and used for operating expenses. The other half will expire Dec. 31, 2014 and has been used for capital improvements associated with the fire and police departments.

A summary of the past 10 years of Fire Sales Tax expenses follows. Find full Fire Sales Tax, 10-year financial reports online.

Promised and Delivered: Results from the 2004-2014 Fire Sales Tax and Public Safety Trust Fund

$1+ million per year for ongoing Public Safety operations (permanent 1/8-cent tax)

  • Provided competitive compensation adjustment in 2004 for public safety personnel
  • Helped secure funding for 3 additional firefighters
  • Emergency Communications Division  (911) operations

$1+ million per year for Public Safety capital expenses  (expiring 1/8-cent tax)

  • Fire Facilities: Relocated Fire Station 3 adding Communication and Emergency Operations Center, renovations to Fire Station 1, and replaced the roof on both Fire Station 2 and Fire Station 4
  • Fire Apparatus:  three new pumper fire trucks, one new ladder truck, one 1986 platform ladder truck (refurbished) and later replaced with a used platform ladder truck, one new 4×4 fire truck, and one new rescue boat
  • Fire Equipment: Replaced self-contained breathing apparatus, replaced jaws of life equipment
  • Renovations to the Police Department facility
  • Police Vehicles: Replacement police cars
  • Replaced public safety communications equipment
  • Replaced public safety personal protective equipment