This letter is in reference to Mountain View fire Protection Districts Ballot Issue A. The Board of Directors has put this ballot question out to you, the voters, to address an issue with how current Colorado law affects the District’s revenues.
The law in question is commonly known as the “Gallagher Amendment.” This amendment was passed in 1985 and predates the TABOR Amendment. The Gallagher Amendment requires the State Legislature to adjust the residential assessment rate, also known as the RAR, on an annual basis. There are many videos and articles that break down and explain the Gallagher Amendment; I encourage you to research how it affects you.
The majority of revenue received by Mountain View Fire Rescue District comes from the property taxes of the residential properties within the District. Over the past 10 years, the RAR has dropped from 7.96% to 7.15%. It is predicted that the 2021 residential assessment rate will be set at 5.88%. This would be an 18% drop in the residential assessment rate in one year. This drop in the RAR directly relates to a decrease in District funding.
Historically, the only remedy for this decrease in District revenue was to hold an election and ask the voters to approve an increase in the District’s Mill Levy. While the District has been successful with elections in the past, holding elections is very expensive.
Mountain View Fire Rescue District is asking voters to consider and approve a different solution. Ballot Issue A asks the voters to allow the District to adjust the mill levy to maintain the current level of revenue should the residential assessment rate be adjusted. Approving Ballot Issue A will allow the District to maintain its current level of service and carry out our citizen-backed strategic and master plans. Opposing the Ballot Issue A would potentially lower taxes when there would be a decrease in the residential assessment rate based on the Gallagher Amendment.
Although this is a very complex law and the ballot question is similarly complex, it is important that voters understand this is not a tax increase. Any changes in the Mill Levy would only be in response to changes in the residential assessment rate set by the state legislature. This is a tax extension and not a tax increase. Those who oppose Ballot Issue A do so because they oppose all tax issues, even those meant for life-saving services like firefighting and emergency medical services.
It is our mission to provide our taxpayers and customers with the highest level of service possible with the resources allocated by our voters.
Please visit our website FAQ page for more information about the Gallagher Amendment. https://www.mvfpd.org/general/page/gallagher-amendment-faqs
Please remember that Ballot Issue A is on a separate ballot from the November general election. Please take a moment to vote and follow the directions for mailing or dropping off your ballot.
Thank you for your time and consideration,
Chief Dave Beebe
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