FIRE PROPOSITION 2012
Why is this Millage needed?
• Sales tax revenue is down by 6 million this year.
• *Fire Department currently funded by a millage (8 Mills = 2 million), and the General Fund (6 million).
• Rolling Closures were implemented in 2010, with 2 or more Fire Stations closed daily.
• Fire Protection Class will change if current trend continues, or further reductions occur.
How are other Fire Departments funded?
• Slidell: 35 Mills……...14 Million Budget……………155 Firefighters
• Mandeville: 27 Mills……...14 Million Budget……………..90 Firefighters
• Madisonville: 18 Mills……...2.7 Million Budget……………..34 Firefighters
• St. Bernard: 8 Mills………..2 Million Budget……………108 Firefighters*
What will happen if this millage doesn’t pass?
• Significant firefighter lay-offs.
• Closure of 7 brand new Fire Stations, Engine Companies, and 1 Rescue Squad.
• Reduced fire protection, end of medical first response, and longer response times.
• Increased Homeowners and Business Insurance by 60% due to Fire Protection Class change.
• Reduced quality of life, ability to attract new businesses and citizens, and increased cost of living.
What will happen to my Homeowners Insurance if the Millage doesn’t pass?
Company Coverage Class 2 Class 9 or 10 Increase
Citizens Property Ins 100,000/50,000 $2633/yr $4336/yr +$1703 per year
Citizens Property Ins 200,000/100,000 $5393/yr $8936/yr +$3543 per year
• All 12 private Insurance Companies writing policies in St. Bernard will discontinue writing and renewing policies, leaving Citizens Property Ins as the only option for Homeowners Insurance. (This is based on these companies Unacceptable Risk provision, which states that if a communities Fire Protection Class goes to an 8, 9, or 10, this is too high of a risk for them and they would discontinue writing and renewing policies in that community) Some insurance agents do not realize this. Check out the link below.
What will happen to my Business Insurance if the Millage doesn’t pass?
• Business that currently pays $2500 per year will pay $4429 per year, an increase of $1929 per year.
• Business that currently pays $4000 per year will pay $7086 per year, an increase of $3086 per year.
What will the Millage cost me?
• $100,000 assessed home* will cost homeowner $51/year (average of $4.25 per month).
• $200,000 assessed home* will cost homeowner $255/year (average of $21.25 per month).
• Tax exempt homeowners pay nothing.
*Homestead Exemption applies
What will happen if the Millage passes?
• Fire Department fully funded and self-sufficient for first time in history.
• Fire Department fully staffed with ten Engine Companies, two Rescue Squads, and all ten Fire Stations open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
• Shorter response times to emergencies.
• Fire Protection Class could improve resulting in 10-20% savings on Homeowner and Business Insurance.
• 100% of Millage dedicated to Fire Department, cannot be used anywhere else per State Law.
• Fire Department does not have to compete with other Parish Departments for funding any more.
Please help us save our Parish
December 8, 2012
Myth's, Questions and Answers
Myth 1. My Homeowners Insurance won't change, if the Proposition fails, because I live next to a Fire Station.
Fact 1. Your Homeowners insurance will increase, if the Proposition fails, regardless of how close you live to a Fire Station. Your Homeowners Insurance Premium is based, in part, on the Fire Protection Classification assigned to the Fire District you live in. If the Proposition fails and significant cuts are made to the Fire Department, the two Fire Districts will see a change in thier Fire Protection Classification causing a significant increase in Homeowners and Business Insurance rates or a non-renewal of the policies in effect.
Question 1. Can Parish Administration take the millage money from the Fire Department and move it to other Departments?
Answer 1. No. Per state law, a millage has to be dedicated for a specific purpose, and can only be used for that purpose. This millage is dedicated to the Fire Department and cannot be used or rededicated to any other purpose.
Question 2. Why is Parish Government able to take money from the Fire Department budget now and move it to other Departments?
Answer 2. The Fire Department is currently funded through mixed sources. 26% through a dedicated Millage, 71% through Sales Tax, and 3% through a Fire Insurance Rebate. Sales tax funding is non-dedicated and can be used and moved at the discretion of Parish Government. Because the Fire Department is not fully funded by a dedicated source, the Fire Department must fight each year for funding. If the proposition passes, the Fire Department will be fully funded through a dedicated funding source, thus taking the politics out of the fight for funding.
Question 3. What will happen to my Homeowners Insurance if the Proposition fails?
Answer 3. Cuts will be made to the Fire Department, and the Fire Protection Classification will change to an 8, 9, or 10. Once this happens, your private Insurance Company will discontinue issuing or renewing policies in St. Bernard Parish, based on their internal policy of an Unacceptable Risk. This would leave Citizens Property Insurance as the only company available. Because Citizens Property Insurance was established by the Louisiana Legislature to provide insurance to homeowners who cannot get insurance through private Insurance Companies, the premiums are significantly higher. If the proposition fails, you will pay significantly more for Homeowners Insurance.