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Los Angeles County, CA March 6, 2001 Election
Measure Palos_Verdes_Estates-A-01
Fire and Paramedic Services Special Tax Measure
City of Palos Verdes Estates

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Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments |

Shall an ordinance be adopted to levy a Special Tax on each eligible parcel in the City to continue funding the present level of fire and paramedic services through June 30, 2007, as a replacement for the current Fire Suppression Benefit Assessment District?

Impartial Analysis from Stephanie R. Scher, City Attorney
This measure implements a tax. It is proposed by the City Council under the authority of Section 4 of Article XIII-A of the California Constitution, which permits a city to levy a tax for specifically identified purposes, known as a "special tax", if approved by not less than two-thirds of the voters. This special tax could be used only to pay the costs of fire and paramedic services provided by the City of Palos Verdes Estates.

Those services are currently provided by the Consolidated Fire Protection District of Los Angeles County under an agreement with the City. Costs incurred by the City under that agreement are currently paid for by a special assessment imposed on properties in the City. The authority for that assessment expires June 30, 2001. The tax begins upon expiration of the assessment district (in fiscal year 2001-2002) and lasts for six years, through fiscal years 2006-2007. Under the present law, the tax could then be renewed or extended only by another two-thirds vote of the people.

The tax will use the same method for calculating the amount imposed on property as the existing assessment district uses. In 2001-2002, the tax will be determined by adding $197.06 per to $0.112864 for each square foot of building improvements located on the property. In each subsequent year, the tax may be increased up to 6.5%, but an increase may not exceed the increase in the City's cost under the agreement with the Fire District if that agreement is still in effect.

The tax will be imposed on each parcel of property within the City, other than those owned by governmental agencies or otherwise exempt from the payment of property taxes. The procedures for its collection are the same as for other property taxes, including making an unpaid tax a lien on the property. Revenue goes into a special account and annual reports as to the amounts collected and spent are required. If the Fire District agreement terminates or expires, the City may use the tax revenue to provide for an equivalent level of fire and paramedic services through other means. The City Council is given certain authority to change the procedures relevant to collection of the tax, but not the amount or uses for the revenue. The measure also provides for an adjustment in the "appropriations limit" of the City if necessary to accommodate this income.

When the tax expires, if there is unexpended revenue from it, that money may be used to lower next year's tax or be returned to the taxpayers on the same pro rata basis as originally levied.

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Arguments For Measure Palos_Verdes_Estates-A-01
Continuation of fire and paramedic protection in Palos Verdes Estates needs your "YES" vote at the March 6 election!

These services are now paid for through a Fire Suppression Benefit Assessment District (FSBAD). However, Proposition 218, passed by state voters in November 1996, requires a different method of financing, as well as voter approval. The PVE City Council appointed a Citizens' Financial Advisory Committee to explore alternative financing methods. They unanimously recommended this special tax, and the City Council approved it unanimously. It now needs your approval.

This is not a new tax! It replaces an assessment that is no longer permitted with a tax calculated in the same way as the FSBAD assessment and paid as part of your annual property tax bill, which is tax deductible. Voting "YES" raises the same amount of money and the tax will not be greater than as calculated under the FSBAD. Voting "NO" or not voting at all, will threaten financing essential fire and paramedic services in PVE and could significantly increase your home insurance costs.

This special replacement tax:

  • Is structured as close to the present FSBAD assessment as possible
  • Will be used only for fire and paramedic services * Appears on your property tax bill, which is tax deductible
  • Includes a basic charge for all parcels, including vacant lots, plus a charge for each square foot of building improvement
  • Has a six-year sunset clause: expiring June 2007
  • Will cost about $474 for a medium sized home of about 2450 square feet
  • Allows a maximum yearly increase of 6 1/2 percent to cover increases in contract costs with L.A. County Fire Department.

Please join us in voting "YES" to continue these essential services.

Eric Allan (Chair), Myron A. Friedman, Edmund A. Mennis, Joan M. Paulikas, Mark C. Paullin

Members, Citizens' Financial Advisory Committee

(No arguments against Measure Palos_Verdes_Estates-A-01 were submitted)

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Created: March 13, 2001 02:34
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