The Sugar Loaf Fire Protection District relies primarily on property taxes to fund our operation, although we typically also receive money from fund raising projects, donations and grants.
Property Tax Mill Levy as of 2013
As a special district, the SLFPD receives property taxes from the property owners within its boundaries. If you live within the boundaries of the Sugar Loaf Fire Protection District, part of your property tax, collected by the county assessor, goes to support the activites of the District. Your total tax bill is a total of all the mill levies you pay, such as school tax, Regional Transportation District tax, fire protection district tax, etc
The annual property tax for an individual property in the District =
Actual Property Value x Assessment Rate x Mill Levy
(Actual Property Value x Assessment Rate = Assessed Value).
In 2013, the Boulder County Assessment Rate is 7.96% for residential property
29% for all other property.
For its part of your tax bill, the SLFPD currently has two perpetual mill levies: one for general operating expenses, and a second, for capital expenditures such as building improvements and replacement of outdated trucks. The general fund tax rate is 0.7000 percent (7.000 Mills, or $7.00 per $1,000 of assessed value).The capital tax rate is calculated to yield the equivalent of %50,000 in tax revenue for the entire District in 1996, adjusted for inflation and annual growth of the District. In 2013, this rate is 0.4045 percent (4.045 Mills),
for a total tax rate of 0.11045 percent (11.045 Mills, general and capital tax rates combined).
Therefore, for residential property the District will collect $87.92 per $100,000 of actual value ($100,000 x 0.0796 x 11.045 /1000), of which $55.72 will go towards the general fund and $32.20 towards the capital fund.
Similarly, for non-residential property the District will collect $320.30 per $100,000 of actual value.
The SLFPD obtains funds from property taxes, fund raising events, donations and grants. In 2013, the District's budget is, in round numbers:
$320k - property tax
$ 43k - donations, fund raisers, fees, etc
$ 97k - release from savings
$370k - total
$ 75k - administrative (insurance, utilities, etc)
$ 64k - operating (supplies, repairs, training)
$ 106k - capital (radios, new UTV, etc plus set-aside for future truck and equipment purchases)
$ 125k - set-aside for land exchange with Forest Service
$370k - total
Note that as of July 2013, we know that the land exchange with the Forest Service will cost only about $15k, so the $97k release from savings in the Income category will not be necessary.
*** Election ***
All three directors running for reelection were reelected: Marilyn Hartig, C. Marty Lee, and Amanda O'Connor. Subsequently C. Lee has moved away and Jack Thompson has been appointed to the board. The mill levy increase passed by a wide margin: 299 for, 97 against ballot issue 5A, raising the operating mill levy to 7.000 mills.
The following explanatory information was provided before the 2012 election
*** Ballot Issue Information ***
TABOR NOTICE CORRECTION: The Tabor notice for the May 8 mail-ballot election incorrectly stated that the youngest fire truck owned by the District is 21 years old. This statement was intended to indicate that the average age of the fire trucks owned by the District is 21 years.
Ballot issue 5A on the ballot for the May 8, 2012 mail-in election seeks to raise the operating mill levy from 3.576 to 7.0. The combined operating and capital mill levy total will be 10.988. Note that the capital mill levy rate for the 5 years prior to 2012 was 3.3-3.5; the higher 2012 value is due to the drop in total district property value, presumably due to the Four Mile Fire. There is no way to predict when or if these values will return to their 2010 amounts.
The increased mill levy will result in approximately $70,000 more tax revenue for the district. See the fact sheet below for approximate property owner impacts. These additional funds will be used to provide firefighter and medical training to district volunteers, replace aging equipment, and pay for rising administrative and operating expenses for the District.
MAIL BALLOT ELECTION – MAY 8, 2012
Correction to Tabor Notice: SLFPD has 10 fire trucks whose average age is 21 years.
In addition to the regular election of Directors to the Sugar Loaf Fire Protection District Board,
the ballot will request an increase of 3.424 mills in the operating mill levy:
The Operating Mill Levy increase will be used for:
- Updating old protective gear and equipment to ensure firefighter safety and effectiveness.
- Training for firefighters, emergency medical technicians, and emergency medical responders to improve the skills of volunteers and add some medical capabilities.
- Repairing and maintaining fire trucks.
- Paying operating expenses such as insurance, fuel, and medical supplies.
- Providing and facilitating fire mitigation.
Current Mill Levies/Background
SLFPD property owners currently pay two mill levies, totaling about 7.576 mills, to support the Fire Dept.:
An operating levy (3.576 mills) to support operating expenses and
A capital mill levy (about 4.000 mills) to support purchase of capital equipment. This levy is calculated to provide an inflation- and growth-adjusted equivalent to $50,000 in 1997 and therefore varies from year to year. This levy was extended, not increased, last year. Both mill levies are now perpetual.
The amount of the proposed increase is explained here:
Current levy Proposed Revenue Increase % Increase
Operating 3.576 7.000 $75,000 91
Capital 4.000 4.000 0 0
Total 7.576 11.000 $75,000 45
Thus, an increase of 3.424 mills in operating mill levy would raise the total mill levy for any property owner by 45% of the current levy. The increase would provide about $70,000-75,000 in additional operating revenues for SLFPD, depending on the total assessed value of properties.
The capital revenue has been used to purchase trucks and we believe that continuing this practice will support an appropriate frequency of truck replacement. However, regarding operating expenses, we have seen some increases beyond the level of the increase in tax-generated revenues.
WHAT WILL THIS COST THE TAXPAYER?
MARKET/APPRAISED VALUE OF HOME: GENERAL MIL LEVY 3.424 Mils:
$300,000 $6.83 per month or $82 per year *
$400,000 $9.09 per month or $109 per year *
$500,000 $11.35 per month or $136 per year*
$600,000 $13.67 per month or $164 per year*
*Tax = Market Value x 0.0796 x 0.003424. See your tax bill for calculation of tax on unimproved land for which the effective tax rate is higher.
- Mail ballot election. Ballots will be mailed to electors between April 16 and April 20.
- Ballots must be received from electors (not just postmarked) by May 8, 2012.
- Ballots may be dropped off at Sugar Loaf Fire Station #2, 1360 Sugar Loaf Road, Boulder, CO 80302 during the following times:
- Monday, April 30 and Wednesday, May 2 and Friday, May 4: 3pm until 7pm
- Tuesday, May 8: 7am until 7pm
What are those opposed to the measure saying?Some voters (1) do not want any increase in taxes at this time and believe the Fire Dept should find a way to live within the constraints of current revenues; (2) believe the current level of service is adequate, do not support any increase, and would tolerate a decrease if needed to maintain the current mill levy; or (3) believe the current revenues are adequate if we replace gear and equipment less often and curtail any nonessential services.
The Sugar Loaf Fire Protection Districtprovides a wide variety of services to you, our community. SLFPD has over 40 all-volunteer firefighters, including over 20 state-certified EMTs and EMRs. SLFPD provides emergency and non-emergency services which include, but are not limited to: structure and wildland fire suppression, rescue services, basic life support services, fire mitigation services and consultations, and community outreach.
More election information available at www.slfpd.org OFFICE 303-442-1050