Truckee Fire assessment voting ends tonight
Today is the last day to vote on the Truckee Fire Protection Districts property assessment, but many local government agencies decided not to vote.If passed, the assessment would add $49 per year to single homes and $145 for commercial and industrial parcels. All together, the district hopes to raise $800,000 annually for additional personnel, a communications upgrade, and defensible space work.But because the vote is weighted according to how much the property owner would have to pay (one dollar equals one vote), many local government boards have decided not to vote.The boards intent was to give the public a larger voice in the outcome, rather than the district, said Michael Holley, general manager of the Truckee Donner Public Utility District.The assessment if passed would add up to less than a $2,000 tax increase for the district, Holley said.Likewise, the Town of Truckee has decided that the assessment would not have a huge impact.From my stand point, the amount of money in the $500 range is pretty inconsequential, and it wouldnt be appropriate for a political body to vote, said Truckee Town Manager Tony Lashbrook.The town council also elected to not vote on the assessment, he said.Nevada County Supervisor Ted Owens said when discussing the decision with the board of supervisors, he felt that voting for the assessment would be like a government endorsement.The board voted 3-2 to not vote, Owens said.The Truckee Tahoe Sanitation Agency also decided to leave the decision up to individual property owners, said General Manager Marcia Beals.Tahoe Forest Hospital takes a general stance of neutrality on other districts taxes and assessments, said Paige Nebeker, director of marketing and communication.Truckee Tahoe Airport District board members decided not to cast their 1,255 votes either way as well, said General Manager Dave Gotschall.They wanted to voice of the people to be heard, Gotschall said.The U.S. Forest Service wont vote either, because federal agencies dont pay local taxes, said Joanne Roubique, Truckee district ranger.We talked to the fire chief, and the logic of finding ways to fund faster response times is compelling, but the community has to figure out if the extra cost is worth it, Roubique said.The Truckee Sanitary District actually voted against the assessment, even though staff recommended supporting it, said Thomas Selfridge, general manager for the district.Tahoe Truckee Unified School District voted yes on the assessment, said Milan Slikkerveer, superintendents office executive assistant.As for the fire district itself, Chief Bryce Keller said the board will vote on the assessment tonight, at the closing of the voting period. Because the fire district owns property, it has a total of 624 votes to cast for or against the assessment.
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