October 16, 2008

Fire Department Reserve Fund again on the ballot


The vote in the June Primary election sounded close – 198 in favor, 202 opposed – but city Measure No. 1 actually needed a super-majority of 60 percent approval to pass.

So this Nov. 4 General Election, Hazen Fire and Rescue are again proposing the levying of up to five mills for the establishment of a fire department reserve fund.

Measure No. 1 reads: "Shall the Hazen Board of City Commissioners adopt ordinances that would impose up to an additional five mills on real property in the city of Hazen for the purpose of establishing a fire department reserve fund? A ‘yes’ vote will enable the City Commissioners to adopt the necessary ordinances to implement a citywide mill increase, up to five mills, for the purpose of establishing a reserve fund that must be used exclusively for the purchase of necessary firefighting equipment or fire department building. A ‘no’ vote means the City Commissioners may not adopt ordinances allowing the mill increase. A minimum of 60 percent of the votes cast must be in favor of passage or this measure will be deemed to have failed."

For example, if a Hazen residential home is valued at $100,000 home, true and full value, 50 percent of that total is the home’s assessed value would equal $50,000. Nine percent of that amount is taxable, which amounts to $4,500. That amount, multiplied by 0.001 – or one mill – would equal a tax of $4.50 on the $100,000 home if one mill were levied.

If a home is valued at $75,000, one levied mill would equa1 a tax of $3.38.

"As one citizen told me, ‘It’s a small price to pay for good insurance,’" Hazen Auditor Sandy Bohrer said. "They need that equipment to respond to emergencies as efficiently as possible."

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