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Mill Rate Restoration
Chena-Goldstream Fire and Rescue (CGFR) serves 11,325 people in an 80 square mile fire service area. Its emergency medical response reaches beyond the fire service area to an even larger area. Over time we have built four fire stations. That places most residents within 5 miles of a station, an important factor in responding effectively and keeping home-owner insurance rates low.
What’s the tax issue?
In 1997 the tax levy exceeded the immediate needs of the Department, leading the CGFR Board of Directors to voluntarily reduce the mill rate. Unfortunately, the department has both immediate needs and long term needs. Reducing the mill rate covered CGFR's annual operation costs but hamstrung our ability to accommodate the department's long term needs.
Consumer Price Index (CPI) increases and new construction in the CGFR Fire Service Area (FSA) have raised the tax cap and covered our increased operating expenses for the few salaries we pay, fuel cost increases and other expenses. The reduction of 1997 has prevented us from replacing aging fire apparatus in a timely fashion, leaving your fire department with older, underpowered and unsafe apparatus. Our current funding, including state and federal grants, affords us to replace fire trucks after 40 years of service. That's a long time. We are asking the residents of the CGFR Fire Service Area to approve a measure increasing the FSA income such that the retirement age of fire apparatus can be reduced to a more reasonable 25 years.
In order for CGFR to continue its current level of service the CGFR Board has recommended restoring the tax levy (mill rate) to approximately the same level assessed a decade and a half ago. We hope a public election to approve this measure will take place in March 2012. More details will be posted here as the story progresses.
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Frequently Asked Questions:
How does the mill rate for residents of the CGFR service area compare?
What trucks are currently in the CGFR fleet?
How and when will fire trucks and tankers be replaced under the new mill rate?
How was the cost estimate for apparatus replacement determined?
How does CGFR spend its money?
What areas are included in the CGFR service area?
How much will the restoration of the mill rate increase property taxes?
What will the ballot look like?