Spring Primary Ballot Measure Roundup

Spring Primary Ballot Measure Roundup

Today, voters in states around the country will be asked to stand behind their local fire departments by passing levies, bonds, and other measures used to support Fire and EMS protection services. Here are a few important primary election measures around the country we are keeping an eye on:

Avoca, AK

The Avoca Volunteer Fire Department is requesting an increase in annual fire district dues from $50 to $125. The increase is necessary to cover rising costs, including the purchase of essential equipment and increased staffing. The fire department has not raised dues in 16 years, despite a nearly doubling of calls in the past decade. The additional funds will also be used to upgrade emergency equipment and provide additional services, such as medical and rescue. The increase would result in a monthly charge of $10.70 per month for residents, supporting the continued operation of critical emergency services in the city.

Belvedere, CA

Belvedere voters will decide whether to renew Measure C, a parcel tax that supports emergency medical and fire services. The tax, initially passed in 1984 and regularly renewed every four years, allows the city to contract with the Tiburon Fire Protection District. This district participates in the Southern Marin Emergency Medical Paramedic System. The current levy ranges from $994 to $1,999 per property and is subject to annual adjustments based on population growth and inflation. If approved, the tax will be renewed from July 2024 to June 2028. The measure requires majority approval from voters and has no formal opposition.

Burlington, VT

Burlington, Vermont, faces a $9 million budget deficit and concerns over public safety. The City Council proposes a 3-cent property tax increase to address these issues. The increase would raise $1.8 million for public safety, allowing for continued police hiring, maintenance of community support personnel, and creation of a mobile crisis response unit. The City is also pursuing other measures, such as reducing non-public safety expenses and increasing user fees, to balance the budget. If the tax increase is not approved, public safety expenses may need to be reduced by $1.8 million.

Calaveras, CA

This ordinance proposes a 1% sales tax in Calaveras County to fund local fire protection services. The tax would allocate funds to local fire agencies based on population, with a portion dedicated to county infrastructure protection. The ordinance outlines strict expenditure requirements, fiscal oversight, and performance accountability to ensure funding is used effectively to improve firefighter staffing, equipment, and facilities. If approved by voters, the tax would increase spending limits for fire districts and the City of Angels Camp, contingent upon countywide reauthorization every four years.

Marin County, CA

Measure H seeks voter approval to continue the Marinwood Community Services District’s authority to spend tax revenue for fire protection and emergency response services. Due to constitutional spending limits, this authority must be renewed every four years. If approved, the District can continue its current level of service for these essential functions. However, if the measure fails, funding for these services would be reduced. It’s important to note that Measure H is not a new tax and will not increase property taxes beyond previously approved amounts.

Waverly, IL

The Waverly Fire Department, currently funded by donations and a small income from ambulance billing, seeks to establish a fire district to generate a stable revenue source. The district would impose a tax of 0.4% to fund equipment upgrades, potential staffing, and ensure reliable emergency service during periods of volunteer shortage, generating roughly $190,000 in revenue. The district’s boundaries align with the Fire Department’s service area, and residents within the district will be able to vote on the measure on March 19th. The department plans to host informational meetings to address resident inquiries and provide additional details about the proposed district.

Firefighters & EMS Fund is a tax-exempt political organization organized under Section 527 of the IRS Tax Code. Contributions are not tax deductible. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.