Allowing cuts to our fire department could endanger emergency response times and the quality service that have made the district so successful in keeping the community safe.
Allowing cuts to our fire department could make it more difficult for first responders to get the equipment they need to do their job and to keep themselves safe in the line of duty.
In a time of economic growth, there's no reason to be cutting public safety budgets, forcing our first responders to do more with less.
The population serviced by firefighters in the Arvada Fire Protection District has grown substantially in the recent years, but funding for local fire departments has been falling behind that growth - and the trend is getting worse every year.
Despite rapid growth in the Arvada area, the Arvada Fire Protection District is projected to lose roughly three million dollars in revenue in 2020 and even more in the years after that.
Our fire department are being forced to reduce their revenues of the unintended consequences of a single provision in Colorado's Constitution, which this proposal will permanently fix.
A “No” vote on 6E would reduce incoming revenue to our fire department which could endanger emergency response times and the quality service that have made the district so successful in keeping our community safe. A reduction of incoming revenue could also make it more difficult to get the equipment firefighters need to do their jobs and keep themselves safe in the line of duty. Our fire district has seen an 18% increase in call volume during the past 5 years. In a time of economic growth, there’s no reason to be cutting public safety budgets, forcing our first responders to do more with less.
If we pass 6E for our fire department, the effective Residential Assessment Rate (assessment rate) for taxpayers in the District would be maintained at its current level. The Fire District is seeking authorization to adjust its mill levy to keep the property tax revenues it will otherwise lose because of an upcoming statewide decrease in the assessment rate.
Due to the steady increase in residential property values across the State, from 1982 to 2016 the assessment rate has been reduced from 21% to 7.96%. Then, in 2017, the Colorado Legislature further reduced the assessment rate to 7.2% (a 9% decrease). The Fire District already lost $1,750,000 in revenue because of the assessment rate reduction. Preliminary projections indicate the Colorado Legislature will reduce the rate to 6.11% in 2019, which is a 15% decrease and another approximately $3,000,000 loss in revenue to our fire department.
Voting “Yes” on 6E will prevent the fire department from losing revenue and help the district maintain response times, quality service, updated safety equipment and training for our firefighters. It will be very difficult, if not impossible, to sustain the current level of service for residents in the district if 6E does not pass.