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5/7/2014 6:00:00 AM
Golden Valley Fire District ponders property tax change

Matt Reinig
Miner reporter

KINGMAN - In anticipation of another potential decrease in assessed property values this year, the Golden Valley Fire District is considering raising property taxes to offset the loss, among other options.

Assistant Fire Chief Ted Martin said if the budget committee and board of directors approves a change in the property tax rate, most Golden Valley residents would actually end up paying less than they did last year.

"The rate will still in most cases be less," he said. "As far as I understand, they were just looking at all available options, and they were discussed through the budgetary committee, and none of that stuff will be defined before it gets before the full board.

"So it wouldn't be as large of a hit than if the tax rate was kept the same, and the board still has that decision if they want to keep things the way they are now."

Martin said the current property tax rate is 2.9 percent, and the fire district has the authority to raise property tax rates without the Mohave County Board of Supervisors' approval.

Golden Valley property values, as in other areas of the county, have declined significantly over the past seven years.

Last year alone, Mohave County took a $573,000 loss in property tax revenue after the Board of Supervisors chose not to raise taxes amid declining property values.

"I can't tell you exactly what loss of assessed valuation we have absorbed, but it is supposedly substantial," said Martin. "And they're projecting that property values are going to drop another year, potentially."

The fire district is not entirely dependent upon property tax, Martin said, as out-of-district contracts with the prison and utility companies provide considerable funding.

Martin said there will be one more budget committee meeting Friday. Then the district will determine when to put the budget item on the board of directors' meeting agenda for a possible vote.

"They're looking over all possibilities," said Martin. "If people want to have input when they see the agenda for the board of directors meeting, they're more than welcome to provide directors their input."

Political subdivisions in Arizona have a maximum allowable tax rate based on current and past property values and tax rates.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, May 17, 2014
Article comment by: vock canyon

I can't believe that the GV fire dept gets away with collecting so much money for what they do. their rates are some of the highest in the nation per person.

Posted: Thursday, May 8, 2014
Article comment by: Holly Twiss

I am against a tax increase. My property tax already went up this year.

Posted: Thursday, May 8, 2014
Article comment by: V Stokes

"I lived in paramount for 24 years..."
"...for 29,000 people..."

So that would have put your timeline back in the 50's to 70's somewhere? Assuming you meant Paramount, CA? Which has an area of approx 5 sq mi? So, 2 stations in 5 sq mi. How big is the area the GVFD covers? With what? 3 stations? You realize that $56 in 1970 is $346 in 2014 dollars?

Yeah, a loaf of bread cost $.25 back then too.

Posted: Thursday, May 8, 2014
Article comment by: Dynamo Dynamic

There are some good suggestions offered for the Golden Valley Fire Dept. Golden Valley is experiencing new growth thus more tax payers. If Golden Valley were to make the area more attractive to live you would have more of a tax base. I know I am experiencing a higher cost of living. Everything is going up.
What gets me is the Fire Dept. should discipline itself in the area of spending before asking for a hand out.

Posted: Thursday, May 8, 2014
Article comment by: Steven Robinson

@55 Nicholes: The County collects $0.10 per $100 value from every taxed property in the county. That is the money that is spread among the various Fire Districts to recoup the cost of the services to people needing emergency services who live outside the district.

@Juan Gonzales: OVER 65% of the lots in Golden Valley Fire District are raw land, with no improvements, which means very LOW valuations, AND there's less than 15,000 people in GV. That is a much smaller tax base. By contrast, I'm willing to bet Paramount is 95%+ developed with parcels being either commercial or residential. That difference in value is HUGE!!

@Stop Chasing the Ambulance (aka Duncan Borden IV, Jim Consolato or Lovelle Barnett) ALL of you know that the change in plans was not communicated to the reporter before he wrote the story and thus he wasn't aware, until today that the rate will remain unchanged at $2.90 per $100 Assessed Values. But none of you ever let the facts get in the way of a good smear.

Posted: Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Article comment by: Stop Chasing the Ambulance

Half a million wasted on the ambulance business you will never get. Stop building million dollar fire stations. Collect money instead of prisoner labor. There! was that so hard?

Posted: Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Article comment by: juan Gonzales

I lived in paramount for 24 years the cost of fire on the taxes was $ 56.00 yearly. there were only TWO fire stations in paramount, for 29,000 people. Here it very high like $ 271.00 why ???

plus next they will want hook and ladder truck and a airplane. we need to STOP them NOW!!!

Posted: Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Article comment by: Double Nickles Nicholes

Although most area residents don't understand it, public safety services are expensive....before employee costs are considered.

One thing I would like to suggest.....if not already being done, start a "cost recovery" program that targets non local tax paying victims of traffic accidents, local tax payers who call the FD for drug OD's, assult, etc....

The department I worked for back in SoCal did this and we recovered 80% or more of the total cost incurred when we would respond to traffic accidents on the I-10 involving out of area people.......they don't pay local taxes, yet they use local tax funded services. It sounds mean, but money is money.

Posted: Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Article comment by: No Meeting Friday

There is no budget meeting on Friday. It was changed to Monday 5-12-2014. When a tax rate of 2.90 goes to 3.25, We use to call it a "Tax Hike." Spin it any way you want.

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