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November 6, 2018 — California General Election
Special District

Rancho Adobe Fire Protection District
Measure W - 2/3 Approval Required

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Election Results

Passed

6,430 votes yes (70.3%)

2,717 votes no (29.7%)

100% of precincts reporting (42/42).

Parcel Tax
— undefined

To prevent fire station closures, institute new ambulance service, hire and retain full-time firefighters, shall Rancho Adobe Fire Protection District Ordinance No. 2018-02 be approved authorizing the District to repeal the existing parcel tax and impose and levy a special tax for an indefinite period at an annual rate of $300.00 per assessor's parcel number ($0.82/day) providing $2.1 million annually, with a maximum 3% annual adjustment for inflation, with an annual audit demonstrating how all revenue was spent?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

Summary

Sonoma County ROV (Sample Ballot)

COUNTY COUNSEL'S IMPARTIAL ANALYSIS OF MEASURE W

The Rancho Adobe Fire Protection District Board of Directors has called a special election to ask voters to approve Measure W. Measure W would repeal the existing parcel tax adopted by District voters in 1997 and authorize the District to levy a new parcel tax on real property within the District to fund fire protection (including suppression and prevention) and emergency response services within the District. State law permits fire protection districts to levy a qualified special tax provided two-thirds of the votes cast on a measure approve the imposition of the tax. Measure W was placed on the ballot by the Board of Directors.

The existing tax is imposed at a rate of $10.00 per unit of risk. Properties are assigned units of risk based on use of the property, and the maximum tax rate varies from $20.00 to $400.00 per parcel depending upon use. The maximum amount of the proposed new tax would be a flat $300.00 per Assessor’s Parcel Number. The amount of the proposed tax would be subject to an annual increase not to exceed four percent per year.

If approved, the tax would be applied to each unit of real property in the District that: (i) has a separate Assessor’s Parcel Number (as shown on the secured tax rolls) or (ii) receives an assessment from the County of Sonoma of structural property on the unsecured tax rolls or from the State Board of Equalization. The tax would be collected in the same manner as other property taxes. All property that would otherwise be exempt from property tax will also be exempt from the proposed tax. The District estimates that the proposed tax would generate $2,100,000 in revenue annually.

Measure W would also raise the District’s spending limit for the maximum period (four years) allowed by state law to allow the District to spend the proceeds of the tax for the purposes set out in the measure.

As required by state law, proceeds of the tax would be placed in a special fund and could only be used for the purposes set out in the measure, which include (1) continuing to provide fire and emergency services as authorized by Health & Safety Code section 13862 and (2) exercising other rights and powers granted the District by state law. Additional accountability measures require District’s Chief Fiscal Officer to annually submit a written report to the Board stating the amount of tax revenue collected and expended, and the status of any project authorized to be funded by the tax.

The proposed tax will become effective only if approved by a two-thirds majority of those voting on Measure W. If approved, the proposed tax would become effective on November 7, 2018, following certification of the election result. The tax would be levied against all taxable real property beginning with the 2019/2020 fiscal year and will continue annually until repealed.

A “yes” vote would authorize the District to repeal the existing parcel tax and impose the new parcel tax.

A “no” vote is a vote to keep the existing parcel tax and would not authorize the District to impose the proposed new tax.

BRUCE D. GOLDSTEIN County Counsel

By: s/ Robert Pittman
Assistant County Counsel

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF MEASURE W

The firefighters who protected the community during last year’s firestorm urge you to vote Yes on Measure W.

When Rancho Adobe was formed in 1993, residents were assessed a parcel tax of $40 per household. That year, RAFPD responded to 1,000 emergency calls. In 2017, we responded to 2,510 calls. But the parcel tax has never changed.

From 2012-2014, budget shortfalls caused by this low parcel tax forced the District to close fire stations. Response times doubled. Fire stations deteriorated. The closures ended when we received funds from Graton Casino.

Because unsecured Casino funds may no longer be available to RAFPD, Rancho Adobe’s Five-Year Plan projects annual deficits from $361,000 to $1,015,000.

Can budgets be cut? Rancho Adobe has always used your tax dollars wisely. Average salaries are 22% lower than neighboring districts. Pensions are 1/3 lower. We are increasing efficiency by cooperating with neighboring departments.

Up till now, our budget has forced us to employ part-time firefighters. Most of them leave for higher-paying departments quickly. We have not been able to offer full-time ambulance service. But with proper funding, we will keep all stations open 24/7. We can staff each station with experienced full-time firefighters who stay with us. We can also offer ambulance service.

Only Measure W makes that possible. It would replace the current parcel tax with a new parcel tax of $300/year (82 cents a day) and a 3% annual adjustment for inflation, which is comparable to neighboring districts.

The need to have a healthy, fully-functioning fire district has never been clearer. Working with others, Rancho Adobe firefighters stopped the October firestorm from crossing Petaluma Hill Road. Please support them, so they can continue to protect your home and family.

Vote Yes on Measure W.

RANCHO ADOBE FIRE DISTRICTs/ Carla Grube, President

s/ Mark Landman Mayor, City of Cotati

s/ William R. Fishman Penngrove Resident

s/ Bret Herman
Trustee, Liberty School District

RANCHO ADOBE FPD
s/ Greg Karraker, Director

 

— Sonoma County ROV (Sample Ballot)

Arguments AGAINST

NO ARGUMENT WAS SUBMITTED AGAINST MEASURE W

— Sonoma County ROV (Sample Ballot)

Read the proposed legislation

Proposed legislation

FULL TEXT OF MEASURE WORDINANCE NO. 2018-02

AN ORDINANCE OF THE RANCHO ADOBE FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT AUTHORIZING THE DISTRICT TO IMPOSE AND LEVY A NEW SPECIAL TAX

________________________________________________________________

The people of the Rancho Adobe Fire Protection District ordain as follows:

SECTION I. DEFINITIONS.

For the purposes of this ordinance, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them by this section unless the context clearly requires a different meaning. The definition of a word or phrase applies to any of that word’s or phrase’s variants.

“A New Special Tax” means the special tax authorized by and imposed pursuant to this Ordinance. The new special tax is a special tax within the meaning of Article XIII A, section 4 and Article XIII C, section 1 of the California Constitution.

“Board of Directors” means the Board of Directors of the Rancho Adobe Fire Protection District.

“District” means the Rancho Adobe Fire Protection District in Sonoma County, California.

“Existing Special Tax” means the special tax authorized by and imposed pursuant to Ordinance No. R-8 1996/97.

“Parcel of Real Property” means a separate parcel of real property having a separate Assessor’s parcel number as shown on the secured tax rolls of the County of Sonoma, or an assessment of a structural property on the unsecured tax rolls of the County of Sonoma, or an assessment made by the State Board of Equalization.

SECTION II. AUTHORITY.

This ordinance is adopted pursuant to Article XIII A, section 4, Article XIII B, section 4 and Article XIII C, section 2 of the California Constitution, Article 3.7 (commencing with Section 53720) of Chapter 4 of Division 2 of Title 5 of the California Government Code, Section 13911 of the California Health and Safety Code, and Article 3.5 (commencing with Section 50075) of Chapter 1 of Part I of Division 1 of Title of the California Government Code.

SECTION III. DETERMINATION OF NECESSITY.

The amount of revenue available to the District from property taxes and the existing special tax is inadequate to meet the cost of providing services pursuant to Section 13862 of the California Health and Safety Code. Therefore, the District must establish a larger stable source of supplementary revenue to assist in meeting the costs of providing such services and exercising the other rights and powers of the District.

SECTION IV. PURPOSE OF SPECIAL TAX.

The purpose for which the new special tax shall be imposed and levied is to raise revenue for the District to use in meeting the costs of (1) providing services pursuant to Section 13862 of the California Health and Safety Code, and (2) exercising other rights and powers granted to the District in Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 13860) of Part 2.7 of Division 12 of the California Health and Safety Code.

SECTION V. SPECIAL TAX AUTHORIZATION AND LIMIT.

The Board of Directors is authorized to impose and levy the additional special tax each year on each parcel of real property within the District, except parcels of real property owned by a federal, state, or local agency, based on the use or right of use of the parcel and for the purpose stated in Section IV of this ordinance. The new special tax may be levied at a rate not to exceed $300.00 per assessor’s parcel number, with a maximum 3% annual adjustment for inflation.

 

SECTION VI. REPORT AND HEARING ON SPECIAL TAX.

Each year prior to the imposition of the new special tax, the Board of Directors shall cause a report to be prepared showing each parcel of real property subject to the new special tax, the owner(s) thereof, the land use classification or classifications applied thereto, and the proposed levy thereon. Upon receipt of the report, the Board of Directors shall set a date for a public hearing thereon and shall cause notice of the hearing to be given pursuant to Section VIII of this ordinance. At the public hearing, the Board of Directors shall set the rate and make such corrections to the taxes proposed to be levied as may be required.

SECTION VII. ANNUAL REPORT ON SPECIAL TAX REVENUES.

Each year the District shall cause a report to be prepared and filed with the Board of Directors containing information regarding the amount of new special tax revenues collected and expended as well as the status of projects funded with proceeds of the new special tax.

SECTION VIII. NOTICE OF HEARING.

In the absence of state law specifying the procedure for giving notice, notice of any public hearing held pursuant to this ordinance shall be given by posting in at least three (3) public places within the District at least fifteen (15) days prior to the hearing and publishing twice pursuant to Section 6066 of the California Government Code in at least one (1) newspaper of general circulation within the District. The notice shall include the date, time, and place of the public hearing, a general explanation of the matter to be considered, and a statement of where additional information may be obtained.

SECTION IX. COLLECTION.

The new special tax shall be collected in the same manner and subject to the same penalty as other charges and taxes collected by or on behalf of the District by the County of Sonoma. The Sonoma County Tax Collector may deduct reasonable administrative costs incurred in collecting the new special tax and deposit the amounts deducted in the Sonoma County General Fund. In accordance with Article 1 (commencing with section 29300) of Chapter 2 of Division 3 of Title 3 of the California Government Code, there shall be added to the amount of the special tax an amount for the reasonable administrative costs incurred in collecting the additional special tax.

SECTION X. SEVERABILITY CLAUSE.

If any section, subsection, sentence, clause or phrase of this ordinance is for any reason held to be unconstitutional and invalid, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portion of this ordinance. The people of the Rancho Adobe Fire Protection District hereby declare that they would have passed this ordinance and every section, subsection, sentence, clause or phrase thereof, irrespective of the fact that any one or more sections, subsections, sentences, clauses or phrases be declared unconstitutional or invalid.

SECTION XI. EFFECTIVE DATE.

This Ordinance shall take effect the day following its approval by two-thirds of the District’s qualified voters voting on its approval at the special election on November 6, 2018.

APPROVED, by a two-thirds vote of the voters of the Rancho Adobe Fire Protection District at the special election held on November 6, 2018, and

SO ORDERED.

_________________________
Greg Karraker
Director
Rancho Adobe Fire Protection District

ATTEST:

_________________________ Clerk of the Board of Directors

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