How is ECCFPD funded?

Answer

As is the case for fire districts generally, almost all of ECCFPD’s funding (96%) comes from a fixed portion of the 1% property taxes collected by the County based on assessed valuation of parcels in ECCFPD’s service area.

After the County collects property taxes, the revenue is divided among the agencies serving the property, including the county itself, cities, and schools, based on a formula set by state law. ECCFPD receives an average of 7% of the County's property taxes from the parcels in its service area. This is substantially less than for other comparable, nearby fire districts. For example, Contra Costa County Fire Protection District receives 12% and the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District receives 14%.

This difference results from a state law that divided up property taxes based on community services provided in the late 1970's. At that time, ECCFPD's service area was largely rural, with lower needs for emergency services, and the community's fire protection was provided by volunteer and paid-on-call departments with extremely low costs. Over the next 40+ years, the community has become more populated and developed, requiring that fire service be provided by professional firefighters. Unfortunately, though, the formula for distributing property taxes remains the same, and changing it to better fund fire and emergency services would require passing new State law. This would be very difficult to accomplish, as it would take money away from cities and schools.