Contra Costa Fire District Officials Consider Parcel Tax

BRENTWOOD (KCBS) – Some major fire districts in the East Bay are looking beyond the elections Tuesday and thinking about a parcel tax in June.

Like other fire agencies in the Bay Area, the East Contra Costa Fire District has made steep cuts. Two of its eight fire stations were closed this past summer. Chief Hugh Henderson said revenue continues to vanish since much of it is based on property tax.

KCBS’ Dave Padilla Reports:

To help offset the revenue loss, Henderson said the district wants to survey east county residents about a possible parcel tax on the June 2011 ballot. Chief Daryl Louder of Contra Costa Fire Protection District said he’ll be floating a similar idea.

“We’ve done everything we possibly can to reduce costs,” he said. “We’ve already laid people off.”

Chief Louder said his district has been relying on reserves to balance its budget, but he estimates that during the end of the next fiscal year, those funds will vanish. The district now wants to hire a consulting firm to poll residents about a parcel tax.

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