Klamath Fire didn't get funding becauase it asked for too much
Klamath Fire Protection District did not get the tax increase it requested for several reasons, but they can all be summarized by too much, too little and too few.
The "too much" is they asked for way too much in one increase. To increase taxes by 150 percent in such hard economic times is just asking too much. If the district had asked for less, it might have passed.
The "too little" is they gave too little information on why they
needed so much more. If they had produced a list of costs for equipment
maintenance, training, operational expenses and reserve needs, they
might have been able to justify the request. But they did not. Property
owners were asked to vote without any facts or figures on how the money
would be spent. The vague answers of "training costs" and "equipment
maintenance" were never detailed or even given a total dollar amount.
And the "too few" is they are taxing too few people to pay for too
many who don't pay the fire tax. Only property owners who pay Del Norte
County property tax would have to shoulder the tax hike. All tribal
property not on the tax rolls is exempt, including the Pem-Mey gas
station and the Yurok Tribal Administration Building. So 380 people
would pay to support the Fire Department for everyone in Klamath.
Lt. Witvoet lamented that it was a real bummer that the two largest
stakeholders, with 110 votes, should have so much power over the
outcome. But what she didn't comment on were the other 168 votes that
disagreed with the tax increase also.
While I agree that the Fire Department needs an increase to keep
current, I cannot in good conscience vote to burden so few taxpayers for
so much money with so little information. The Fire Department has told
us that the new casino will be paying a fairly large amount sometime in
the near future. If that is true, then that should cover the increase
they were asking for without over-burdening those who are already