For Golden Valley fire, it's a tale of two possible budgets

GOLDEN VALLEY - With the recently awarded ambulance service facing an appeal from River Medical, the Golden Valley Fire District was forced to provide two drastically different budgets at Wednesday's special meeting.

The district has until Aug. 1 to produce a budget for the Mohave County Board of Supervisors, but that also requires a 30-day public comment period and a final approval.

In the event that River Medical's appeal for GVFD's recently award certificate of necessity fails, the district estimates that ambulance services will bring in $1.7 million in revenue from ambulance transport and mileage fees. That revenue would help offset declining property values, keeping the current property tax rate at 2.90 percent and reducing it to 2.85 the following year. The district, currently going into the 2015-2016 fiscal year with a $1.3 million surplus, would see that surplus diminish by $300,00 over the next three years.

If GVFD loses its ambulance service, the budget looks a little bleaker. While there are no proposed cuts in staff at this time, the district would have to delay increasing payroll and wages for the next three years. Even after raising the tax levy to the maximum 3.25 percent, the district would see its surplus diminish to $770,000 by 2018.

The tax levy is assessed off of 10 percent of the market value of a taxpayer's property. For example, a property valued at $100,000 would pay $290 a year based on the 2.90 percent tax levy. They would see an increase to $325 a year if the fire district decides to increase the levy.