Friday, August 3, 2018

From County Fire: Service Zone FP-5

Service Zone FP-5
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OVERVIEW: The Board of Directors of the San Bernardino County Fire Protection District has passed a resolution (2018-99) to expand the boundaries of Service Zone FP-5. PUBLIC INFORMATION: The District’s Board of Directors desires to expand Service Zone FP-5 to include all territories within the jurisdictions of the District that is not currently included in Service Zone FP-5, which currently includes the area of Helendale and the cities of San Bernardino, Needles, Twenty-nine Palms, Upland, and San Antonio Heights. The extension of the boundaries of FP-5 will result in needed revenues to maintain current fire protection and emergency services within the Districts territories.

The San Bernardino County Fire Protection District provides fire and emergency medical services (EMS) to residents throughout the entire County, covering 19,278 square miles and serving more than 60 communities/cities. The only exceptions being cities that have their own fire departments, cities that contract with other fire departments, and areas receiving these services through special districts.

Financial Outlook
The San Bernardino County Fire Protection District is currently operating at a $29 million dollar budget shortfall. The Fire Protection Board of Directors, as well as the County Fire Protection Districts Fire Chief, believe that expanding Service Zone FP-5 is the best way to fill this budget gap while maintaining existing service levels.

Currently, property tax revenues are insufficient to cover the costs of providing fire and emergency medical services, each legal parcel within Service Zone FP-5 is assessed an annual parcel fee. The current assessment is set at $157.26/year, and can increase up to 3% each year.

The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, sitting as the Board of Directors of the San Bernardino County Fire Protection District, has initiated a process to expand the boundaries of Service Zone FP-5 countywide. Included would be:

  • All unincorporated county areas, except those already receiving fire and EMS through other districts and except unincorporated areas within the sphere of influence of the City of Montclair.
  • The cities of Grand Terrace, Upland, and the Town of Yucca Valley.
  • For a legal description of all Inclusions & Exclusions, see Attachment A.

Important Dates
  • September 14, 2018: Public Notices mailed to all parcel owners.
  • October 15, 2018: Last day to receive mail in protest letters. Must be received by close of business.
  • October 16, 2018: Last day to receive walk in protest letters. Must be received by the closing of the public hearing.
  • October 16, 2018: Public Hearing 10am, San Bernardino County Government Center, 1st Floor Covington Chamber.

Frequently Asked Questions
See answers at:
Q: How will this expansion affect my current property tax bill?
Q: Why is there a need to expand the FP-5 Service Zone in other areas of the County?
Q: How can I be sure the assessment I am paying is going to be used in my community?
Q: Why was my community chosen to be part of this Service Zone expansion?
Q: If my property value increases does that mean this Service Zone fee increases as well?
Q: How does the protest process work?
Q: Can I go to my local fire station to get additional information or pick up a protest form?
Q: People should be able to vote on new taxes. What about our rights under Proposition 218?
Q: I don’t like this process. Can I ask the Board of Supervisors to change it?
Q: I have several parcels. Do I have to pay the assessment fee on each parcel I own?
Q: Who can I contact to obtain my properties Assessor’s Parcel Number?

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