Letter: Fire district in a precarious situation

No New Taxes? This has always been popular rhetoric with taxpayers, no matter where they reside. We recently voted no to new taxes to benefit our children in the public school system. We OK’d taxes on pot — we figured only the fringe element of society would be impacted and it would benefit our children in the public schools. The majority of us voted no on a tax measure that covers the cost for fire and emergency services in the Carbondale Fire District.

Now I must admit the measure was perhaps presented poorly to the public and it may have had a better chance of passing had it included a sunset clause like the one presented and passed two years ago. I propose to the roughly 40 percent of the voting public who were in favor of the tax assessment to rise to the occasion and pay the tax voluntarily. I realize this is not how we generally operate when it comes to taxes, but it is legal. We can still deduct our “contribution” the same as other itemized deductions.

The fire district is in a precarious situation, having to create a budget with significantly reduced revenue. The proposed recommendation does not eliminate these problems for the fire district. They will not be able to account for these pledges, will not be able to send friendly reminders to the public and will only be able to include the money in the budget after it is received.

We who recognize the value of this public service can proactively show our support by contributing our portion of the tax.

Hopefully by the next election cycle the public will be better informed about the services provided by the fire district and the impact of revenue loss, and a better proposition will be presented that is more sensitive to the public’s concern for additional taxes.

Instead of just sitting back and enjoying no increase on our tax bill, we have the opportunity to think about what is best for the community. We have the freedom to support a public service we all depend upon.

Thomas J. Flynn


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