District approves tax hike
Firefighters in Park City say they need more money for equipment and staffing so they will impose higher taxes to collect.
Last week Park City Fire District commissioners approved a roughly 24-percent property tax hike for 2007 for homeowners in Park City and the Snyderville Basin.
Money the district receives from people who own primary homes worth $500,000 could jump from $198 to $232. Owners of businesses worth $500,000 would pay $63 more if the increase is approved, according to Fire District Chief Financial Officer Bill Pyper.
The fire tax for people who live in western Summit County full time will increase almost $7 per $100,000 of assessed valuation.
Revenue from the tax increase would help fund a new station on Holiday Ranch Loop Road, construction of a training facility and a fully staffed station at The Canyons.
According to the Insurance Services Office, the time it takes firefighters to respond to some areas on the West Side is inadequate.
Since a tax increase in 2003, three new fire stations have been built at The Canyons, Promontory and in Deer Valley.
Meanwhile, revenue the Fire District will receive from taxes in 2007 totals about $9.3 million. But the number of the calls the district received this year dropped to 3,770 from 4,161 in 2006, according to Fire District statistics.
Nearly 60 percent of the calls this year were for emergency medical services, according to Park City Fire Chief Kelly Gee.
Gee added that about two percent of the calls involved fires.
In 2009 Gee expects to add nine firefighters in the Pinebrook and Summit Park areas.
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Park City officials are preparing to take what is considered to be an important step in protecting the Treasure land from wildfires. City Hall in early June requested proposals from firms interested in the work.