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LWV League of Women Voters of California
Smart Voter
Santa Cruz County, CA November 7, 2000 Election
Measure V
Special Health and Safety Tax
Scotts Valley Fire Protection District

See Also: Index of all Measures

Information shown below: Official Information | Arguments |

To meet the health and safety needs of district residents, shall the Scotts Valley Fire Protection District, pursuant to Ordinance 2000-1, provide advanced life support services by adding firefighter paramedics in order to improve coverage and enhance fire protection services, through the implementation of a special tax which assesses $51 per service unit, with vacant land equaling one service unit, residential units equaling two service units, and all other parcels equaling five service units?

Official Sources of Information
  News and Analysis

Santa Cruz County Sentinel

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Arguments For Measure V Arguments Against Measure V
The State shifted away approximately 10% of the Districtís yearly property tax revenues some years ago to augment State funding. The District needs this tax to offset those losses and to keep up with the demands and growth of the community.

This tax will ultimately save lives. The tax will be used for the addition of firefighter/paramedics to the current roster of firefighters and will accomplish two important goals:
1. Add paramedic advanced life support service.
2. Add firefighters to allow full time coverage at three stations (Erba Lane, Sims Road and Glenwood Drive, the District currently operates the Erba Lane and Sims Road Stations)

We consider this step as a significant improvement and take our responsibility very seriously. The District has considered every option to provide emergency services and to keep up with growth. This measure will allow the District to meet the growing needs of the community and provide advanced life support and fire protection services.

The closest ambulance to Scotts Valley is stationed in Santa Cruz. Scotts Valley is in a unique position with regard to emergency medical services. American Medical Response West provides the ambulance service under a contract with Santa Cruz County. Scotts Valley firefighters arrive at the scene first to over 90% of the calls and are on scene about four minutes earlier based on location. This is crucial time in a medical emergency and the addition of life saving advanced life support skills may literally mean the difference between life and death.

Scotts Valley has a mixture of young families, seniors, long time residents, businesses, and technology industries. They all deserve this improvement.

This service is too important to the health and safety of the people in the community to ignore. Ultimately, this tax will save lives! Please vote in favor of Measure V.

s/ Scotts Valley Fire Protection District, Carol Bell, Chairperson, Michael P. McMurry, Fire Chief

s/ Scotts Valley Firefighters Association IAFF Local 3577, John Roberson, President

Rebuttal to Arguments For
[Rebuttal due Aug. 28, 2000]
Certainly public health and safety are vital to our community and the availability of a paramedic program and proper fire station staffing is of major importance to such an effort.

WHAT WILL THIS COST EACH PROPERTY OWNER?

The first year cost of this initiative is $102 per living unit with variations for businesses and vacant property. This fee can be adjusted annually to cover cost of living increases. The initial annual income from this new tax will be $725,495.

WHEN WILL IT END?

Unfortunately, there is NO TERMINATION DATE for this tax. As with the sales tax, this is permanent. It can be collected year after year whether needed or not.

This tax should have a termination date of July 1, 2006.

DOESNíT CALIFORNIA HAVE A HUGE SURPLUS NOW?

The State of California is AWASH in money with its 12.5 billion dollar surplus and some of this will benefit the Stateís Fire Districts.

The State Senate has passed unanimously Senate Bill 1919 and is awaiting action in the Assembly. This legislation will provide $324,000 in additional tax money for the Scotts Valley Fire District on an annual basis.

With the continuing studies to consolidate fire districts in the county, thereby enhancing efficiency and saving money, who knows what our situation will be in a few years? Without a sunset or termination clause in this initiative, the tax will still be with us regardless of the lessening in funding requirements.

VOTE NO ON MEASURE V! We can put it on the ballot in the future when needed. We already have county paramedic service negating a vote at this time. Letís do this right and not be stampeded!

s/ Robert B. Suhr, Public

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
[Rebuttal due Aug. 28, 2000]


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Created: January 25, 2001 02:34
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