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Fire protection tax goes up slightly

Posted: September 14, 2011 6:44 p.m.
Updated: September 14, 2011 6:44 p.m.

County officials boosted the cost of fire protection for Santa Clarita Valley property owners this week by a little less than $5 a year.

On Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a tax hike that will see an estimated $73.5 million go to fire protection and emergency medical services throughout the Consolidated Fire Protection District in the 2011/12 fiscal year.

For most county property owners, the tax means an extra $4.87 a year for comprehensive fire protection services.

Residents of a handful of cities are exempt, but none of those cities is in the Santa Clarita Valley.

The rate for a single-family home will increase from $56.17 to $61.04 a year.

As county fire Chief Daryl L. Osby said in his written appeal submitted to the Board of Supervisors, the tax hike is "an increase of less than 50 cents a month" for each single family-home in the county.

A week earlier than the supervisors' Tuesday approval, Osby and other fire officials rolled out the big guns in their fire fighting arsenal, demonstrating for the media the effectiveness of water-dumping aircraft.

Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich joined fire chiefs on the tarmac of the Van Nuys Airport to watch pilots demonstrate key fire-fighting aircraft that included: the CL-415 SuperScooper, Sikorsky S-70 Firehawk, Erickson Air-Crane Helitanker and Bell 412​ helicopter.

Tuesday's tax hike marks the fourth increase in the Consolidated Fire Protection District since June 3, 1997, when county voters - including those in the Santa Clarita Valley - approved the special tax for fire protection and paramedic services.

Over the last 14 years, rates have increased three times to cover costs of the services; rates were reduced once.




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