What options has the District considered in the past to address its funding problems?

Answer

The District has explored a variety of ways to secure additional funding.

  • State law: The property tax formulas which harm the District are a problem with State law. The California Constitution would require a 2/3 vote of the Legislature to change the rules. ECCFPD does not view this as a feasible solution. Also, redirecting property tax revenues would reduce funds for other public agencies like cities and schools.
  • Local revenue measures: ECCFPD and cities in the community have unsuccessfully proposed three types of revenue measures to fund fire protection services:
    • In June 2012, ECCFPD voters rejected against a parcel tax.
    • In April 2015, ECCFPD's property owners protested a benefit assessment.
    • In November 2016, Brentwood and Oakley voters voted down a utility tax available for public safety.
  • Grant funding: In November 2012, ECCFPD received a $7.8 million grant under the federal Staffing for Enhanced Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program, which allowed it to hire or rehire 18 firefighters and reopen 2 closed fire stations. After the SAFER grant funding expired in November of 2014, ECCFPD had to lay off the additional firefighters.
  • Consolidation: The District has investigated mergers with other fire protection agencies. However, consolidation is not possible while the District has insufficient funding to serve its service area.