Foresthill voters will have the opportunity to decide their level of fire and emergency medical service in a special mail ballot election May 7. The Placer County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a resolution Feb. 5 that will put the measure on a special election ballot for an increase in parcel tax rates. The board also approved a special election for a parcel tax rate increase for areas served by the Placer Hills Fire Protection District.
Should voters approve the increase to the special assessment in Foresthill, fire district officials say that the additional revenue would be used to reopen and staff the previously closed fire station and increase employee salaries to reduce attrition and improve the ability to attract and recruit personnel moving forward.
The measure will require a two-thirds majority vote for approval.
The Foresthill Fire board of directors has determined that the cost to maintain adequate levels of service is beyond the reach of the district and requested the assessment increase to better serve its residents.
"By authorizing special district election requests, we continue our commitment to empowering local fire districts to better serve their residents,” said District 5 Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery. “Everything we’ve learned from the Camp Fire, tells us that communities investing in their local fire and emergency medical services has never been more important.”The district would reimburse the county for the cost of their election with the additional revenue it generates if their measure is successful. If the measure is unsuccessful, the county will cover the cost of the election for the district.
Fire service in Placer County is provided by many different agencies. State law does not require counties to provide fire service, and communities have historically organized and funded their own local fire districts, largely through parcel taxes.
***A previous version of this news release included details about Foresthill Fire Protection District’s plans for the additional revenue that applied instead to Placer Hills Fire Protection District’s plans. This release includes details about the specific intentions of the Foresthill district. Information about Placer Hills Fire Protection District in the previous release is accurate.***