During Wednesday nights Antioch Unified School District (AUSD) meeting, a local group during public comments asked the District to help fund the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District.
Hal Bray, a co-founder for East County Voters for Equal Protection (ECV), highlighted how the fire district used to have 8-stations, now it has 3 stations funded and 1-funded part-time. He also showcased how there are 5-days a month on average where when people call for fire service, there is no one to respond and they decline the call.
“They don’t have enough people to respond to a fire or medical emergency,” says Bray. “So we are working with the county, the cities, and the schools to fund the fire district.”
The AUSD receives about $2 million in property taxes for the facilities within the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District.
“We will be asking this District to contribute $105,000 per year to fund the fire district,” said Bray. “The property tax allocation was set with Prop 13 in 1978 and it hasn’t changed. There is no provision to change it since. Our fire district got 7.5% of the 1% property tax, all other districts got between 14% and 30%. The difference between our fire district and San Ramon who gets 15% comes to you, other school districts, special districts and other districts.”
In total, ECV is asking for 30 agencies to shift a combined $7.8 million of the $154 million of property taxes collected within the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District jurisdiction to the fire district.
Under the plan, the agency recipients of the ad valorem property tax to voluntarily shift a small portion (5.2 percent) of their property tax allocation percentage to the fire district. District taxpayers would not be asked to pay any additional taxes.
Due to Mr. Bray’s presentation being within public comments, the District Board or Superintendent could not respond.
According to State Law, School Districts are off-limits and cannot voluntarily give up funding to another District.
99.02. Computations for transfer of revenues between local agencies. (a) For the purposes of the computations required by this chapter for the 1985–86 fiscal year and fiscal years thereafter, in the case of any transfer of property tax revenues between local agencies that is adopted and approved in conformity with subdivisions (b) and (c), the auditor shall adjust the allocation of property tax revenue determined pursuant to Section 96.1 or its predecessor section, or the annual tax increment determined pursuant to Section 96.5 or its predecessor section, for those local agencies whose allocation would be altered by the transfer.
(b) Commencing with the 1985–86 fiscal year, any local agency may, by the adoption of a resolution of its governing body or governing board, determine to transfer any portion of its property tax revenues that is allocable to one or more tax rate areas within the local agency to one or more other local agencies having the same tax rate area or tax rate areas. Upon the local agency’s adoption of the resolution, the local agency shall notify the board of supervisors of the county or the city council of the city within which the transfer of property tax revenues is proposed.
(c) If the board of supervisors or the city council concurs with the proposed transfer of property tax revenue, the board or council shall, by resolution, notify the county auditor of the approved transfer.
(d) Upon receipt of notification from the board of supervisors or the city council, the county auditor shall make the necessary adjustments specified in subdivision (a).
(e) Prior to the adoption or approval by any local agency of a transfer of property tax revenues pursuant to this section, each local agency that will be affected by the proposed transfer shall hold a public hearing to consider the effect of the proposed transfer on fees, charges, assessments, taxes, or other revenues. Notice of the hearing shall be published pursuant to Section 6061 of the Government Code in one or more newspapers of general circulation within each affected local agency.
(f) No local agency shall transfer property tax revenue pursuant to this section unless each of the following conditions exists:
(1) The transferring agency determines that revenues are available for this purpose.
(2) The transfer will not result in any increase in the ratio between the amount of revenues of the transferring agency that are generated by regulatory licenses, use charges, user fees, or assessments and the amount of revenues of the transferring agency used to finance services provided by the transferring agency.
(3) The transfer will not impair the ability of the transferring agency to provide existing services.
(4) The transfer will not result in a reduction of property tax revenues to school entities.
History.—Amended by Stats. 2010, Ch. 699 (SB 894), in effect January 1, 2011.
Eric Volta, Liberty Union High School District, has already stated they will not be giving up any revenue to the fire district due to state law prohibiting it.
Just this week, the City of Brentwood created an ad-hoc committee to address its own fire service which has 1-fire station serving 60,000 residents. Brentwood Mayor Bob Taylor has been quoted saying he wants his city to have its own fire department. Councilmembers Steve Barr and Karen Rarey will be serving on the ad-hoc committee to bring back options for Brentwood.