Questions answered about the North Tahoe fire assessment |

Questions answered about the North Tahoe fire assessment

Between hospital bills and fire district assessments, some North Shore residents are concerned the money they pay to the special districts might not be accounted for.

But officials with the North Tahoe Fire Protection District ” who’ve proposed a $48 assessment be added to property taxes for owners within the district’s boundaries from the state line down the West Shore ” say they promise that if the assessment passes, a team of local residents will keep an eye on how the funds are spent.

“The commitment on the part of the district is that the elected board will actually appoint a citizen financial oversight committee,” said North Tahoe Fire Chief Duane Whitelaw.

“If property owners pass this assessment, it can’t be taken away by the state or any other agency, and it must be spent for the intended purposes,” he added.

The proposed assessment is an effort to better services in the area of fire prevention such as fuels reduction, defensible space inspections and radio communications.

Some residents are apprehensive about the fire district’s need for another assessment, just two years after voters passed a $78 tax for property owners.

But officials say there is a major distinction between the two taxes ” money gleaned from the 2005 assessment helps maintain a vital level of service, while money from the proposed tax would support additional services related to fire prevention.

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