Golder Ranch Fire District To Put A $26.6 Million Bond On Ballot

golder ranch

The Golder Ranch Fire District Board of Directors approved placing another property tax increase before voters on November 5, 2019. The $26.6 million bond will carry a not-to-exceed 8% annual interest rate and a maturity period of not-to-exceed 25 years.

Golder Ranch Fire District (GRFD) continues to increase costs and raise property taxes on residents of Oro Valley, Catalina, Saddlebrooke and other areas in Pima and Pinal Counties.

In 2010 the district’s assessed property value was $772 million with a tax rate of $1.59 yielding, $12,800,000 to support the fire district. By 2016, the assessed valuation was unchanged at $771 million, but the tax rate increased to $2.07, yielding $17 million to GRFD.

In FY 2018 the district’s net assessed value increased to $1.1 Billion
and the tax rate increased to $2.29. This property tax perfect storm increased GRFD funds to $26 million – double the property tax funding in 2010.

In July 2017, GRFD consolidated with Mountain View Fire District and ramped up the number of unionized firefighters on their payroll. The number of Full Time Employees has increased from 137 in 2010, to 177 in 2016 to 261 (including 60 from Mountain View) in 2018.

GRFD concluded the $26.6 million in secondary property taxes was needed after an internal capital needs assessment was conducted. If passed, the funds will be used to liquidate existing debt and to make “necessary capital improvements” to their 10 existing fire stations. The bonds also include funding for land acquisition, a new fire station in Pinal County and communities that may not even be constructed by 2045. This is a slush fund for the Fire District.

The Fire District will prepare an informational pamphlet that will be mailed to households of registered voters within the Fire District. Any person interested in providing an argument FOR or AGAINST the bonds (not to exceed 200 words) for the informational pamphlet must provide the same by mail or hand delivery of the argument to the Fire District at 3885 East Golder Ranch Drive, Tucson, Arizona 85739.

The argument must be received in the office of the Fire District on or before 5:00 p.m. (AZ) on August 9, 2019. Such statement should include the author’s name, address, telephone number and whether the name can be printed in the informational pamphlet.

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