Friday, October 16, 2009

IFPD special assessments

The Idyllwild Fire Protection District’s (IFPD) budget problems may have just gotten considerably more complicated. Over the past week, Idyllwild residents have received their December 2009 tax bills. Conspicuously absent is IFPD’s $65 per parcel special assessment.

This was not a conscious gift to local residents. Instead, failing to comply with the Riverside County Treasurer’s office deadlines may cost IFPD the full estimated amount of $200,000 this year or perhaps only a portion if the treasurer can correct the bills
at some charge.

IFPD’s September agenda included the passage of the resolution approving the 20-year-old assessment (although its value has varied during this period). The action was deferred until the October meeting, last Tues, when the resolution was adopted 3-0.

On Friday, Fire Chief Steve Kunkle confirmed that the special assessment was omitted from the current property tax bill. The resolution and accompanying paperwork were still not ready to send to the county treasurer.

The resolution’s passage on Oct. 13 was still too late for the County to include in the tax bills. Their mailing began on Monday, Oct 12.

In May 2009, Idyllwild Water District held a public hearing and passed a resolution for its standby water fees on undeveloped parcels. Pine Cove Water District transacted the same business in June.

Kunkle did not know if the county would be able to include the assessment in the April bills.

According to Kunkle, in September, he advised the commission to approve the resolution. If a public hearing were necessary, the commission could rescind it at the next meeting, hold the hearing in October and then re-pass the resolution. On Tuesday, the commission passed the assessment resolution without a public hearing.

A $200,000 short fall in this year’s budget would be a serious event and might affect service or staffing levels. Before adjusting the budget, IFPD should determine if the error can be corrected in April and, if so, whether there will be a cost to the district.

If not, the commission has to decide what to do about the remainder of this fiscal year and then how to handle the assessments for next year.

On Monday, I will try to speak to someone at the county treasurer’s office and offer you more insight.

1 comment:

  1. The town deserves this.

    Kunkle is Rotary president.

    Papa knows best despite Grand Jury findings and reccommendations, screwed up audits, elections descrepencies if you can call them that,and quite frankly criminal misconduct by its staff and whatever else hangs out there, no exaggerations or misrepresentations here folks.

    I bet the County finally decided to let IFPD stand or fall on its own weight eg the county tax collector not babying IFPD as I suspect it has for many years with its tax collecting obligations.

    Forgetting to collect taxes to pay its bills is just a bit well ... Sad to say its another Grand Jury Investigation. I'll file this one folks given that CSA 38 operations are the only tax base now funding this operation.

    In any other Legislative Authority I'd ask the chief to resign with all current board members but hey its Idyllwild...He can have the personal pleasure explaining it to the new Grand Jury.


report blog violators