The legislative committee and I wanted to reach out to all of our members regarding Senate Bill S1108 which is the bill that is dealing with property tax reform. This bill made it out of committee last Thursday and already is having the 3rd reading today in the Senate and we expect a vote from the Senate later this week. We have been opposed to this legislation as it hampers our ability as fire chiefs to provide the services our communities deserve. This bill has significant impact to those cities and fire districts who have growth or using annexation as a tool to expand service areas. This bill can be extremely difficult for our fire districts due to their ability to share property tax reduction with other stakeholders. Cities like mine hopefully can spread the reduction among the other general fund departments, but even mine will see an impact in funding reduction and the first item on the chopping block for my agency could be determining if the additional funding needed from the city will be there to remain a host of the region response hazmat team and I know my agency will not be the only one having to look at this specific area. The City of Nampa and the Nampa Fire District due to their recent annexation could see a catastrophic reduction in funding that will lead them to closing stations, laying off firefighters and greatly increase response times.
What can you do to help out is simple. Please reach out to your local representatives and describe to them what the local and possible regional impact of such a change will have on your services. We saw last week in the committee that the associations don’t have the pull, but you all as individuals do. Please call or email your local representatives today and explain how this will impact the services you deliver. Together we can make a difference, but it takes each of us to make the contact.
Travis A. Myklebust(208) 305-6771 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.idahofirechiefs.org |
President, Idaho Fire Chief's Association
Fire Chief, Lewiston Fire Department