The 29 Palms city council recently decided to do nothing and rejected a request for assistance from the Water District for our 29 Palms Fire Department.
Yucca Valley pays a little more than 4 million a year for fire protection that is provided by the county. That 4 million comes off the top of the Town’s property taxes. In other words Yucca receives 4 million less a year into their General Fund in order to pay for two county fire stations. That 4 million equates to 22% of their property tax income stream.
29 Palms on the other hand pays nothing from the property tax stream to provide fire protection services. Instead citizens are paying an additional $80.00 a year in taxes, basically a second tax, under the name of a parcel assessment, to fund the 29 Palms Fire Department for our two stations.
What our council missed, either by staff design or by oversight, is where is that 22% of the General Tax levy that is not used for fire protection going to in 29 Palms? For 29 Palms that 22% equates to a little over 1 million dollars!
Why did our council fail to see that public safety is the primary directive for any city and in the end simply designate 10% of the property tax levy to the fire department? In other words our city council could not find it in themselves to dedicate $487 thousand dollars of yours and mine taxes to public safety.
We will soon be asked to increase our “second” tax from $80.00 to $120.00 so to maintain current fire protection levels, meanwhile the city will continue to keep 22% or over 1 million dollars and spend it on things that are simply nice to have instead of our public safety.