Editor’s notes: I’m reposting this Nov. 9 editorial on a proposed local fire assessment, since it’s getting more attention now — in social media and the “pay wall” media.
Ballots will be mailed on February 6. Ballots must be received by March 6, and the results will be announced on March 15.
This measure will only become law if 67 percent of the voters approve the measure — a high hurdle because so many of our community voices (including the “leaders”) have been so adamant about bashing government and bashing taxes.
It’s reached the point of mindless rhetoric in some instances, and it’s hard to put the genie back in the bottle.
Local opinion on important community issues like this doesn’t belong behind a “pay wall”; it belongs in the open where people can discuss it — and learn about it.
Background on the issue is here. Here’s what I wrote in November, before the decision to put the tax on the ballot:
The Nevada County Consolidated Fire District is expected to ask voters to approve a property owners’ assessment — $52 annually for a single dwelling — because of an $870,000 deficit for the 2011-12 fiscal year.
It will pit the district against the “no tax,” “anti-government,” “get off my land” mindset that still is prevalent here.
Trouble is, we are highly susceptible to wildfires. When people move to unincorporated rural areas, they have to expect to pay for services — just like the sewage treatment problems our county’s residents don’t seem to want to face.
The cost increases that the district faces — worker’s compensation, insurance, public retirement and the like — is a state (not district) problem.
Let’s hope that calmer heads prevail. The board will vote on Nov. 17 whether to put the tax on the ballot.