The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not represent our advertisers

Sunday, April 26, 2015

A Letter To The Editor: Fire Service Agreement Solution

Fire Service Agreement Solution

Recently this has come to the forefront as a major issue. The ultimate solution should be that each property receives the best, most responsive fire protection and that everyone, municipal residents and county residents, should equally pay for the cost based on a fair evaluation of the cost of service. This is my position as Salisbury Taxpayer and Wicomico County Taxpayer.

The best and most equitable solution would be for a “Fire Tax District” to be created. Simply put we would take those properties within the boundaries of a Municipal Fire Service and use a formula based on square footage, number of floors, rooms, occupancy capacity and one or two other standard value estimating items to determine Fire Protection Cost to each property.

The other part we need to discuss is that each property, under the Fire Services Agreement, should be assigned to the geographically closest Fire Department.

This formula would likely have to see approval through the Maryland State General Assembly and adjustments made through the State Tax Assessment Office where the Fire Protection Cost would need to be added to the Tax Bill of those properties as specific line item. Each Municipality should create an Enterprise Fund for their Fire Departments where all funds are earmarked for the Fire Departments. This would not affect the Revenue Cap and the offset for Municipal residents can be made on their County or Municipal Tax.

This creates a balanced and fair approach to the situation. Those who receive Fire Protection from a municipality have a line item on their tax bill. Municipal Residents will no longer have to subsidize the cost of Fire Protection for County Residents. Furthermore, as a citizen I believe this is not a partisan issue and my expectation is that elected officials must professionally and responsibly negotiate a fair and equitable solution.

Muir Boda
Salisbury, MD Resident


Anonymous said...

Key word here: Professionally

Anonymous said...

Mr. Boda, with your plan do we as taxpayers get a reduction in our normal tax bill or are you advocating just a new tax on our backs? And then the WCBOE will be in line to get an education tax assessed. No thank you.

Anonymous said...

Bull oneee. Let little boy Jimmy keep his and SFD toys and take taxpayers money going to them to beef up the surrounding volunteer companies. Great savings would be had by not sending a couple trucks and gobs of people out with an ambulance to treat a priority 4, not paying for the SFD mausoleums, not paying for gas and wear and tear on the equipment, plus salaries for chasing after lunch breaks and seeing if they can get from point A to point B.

The surrounding companies would become even better, county costs would go down and Jimmy and the boys can all play within the deteriorating City Limits.

Anonymous said...

How about those city buildings in county ie the libary ect pay us county residents.

Anonymous said...

Better idea... do away with Salisbury "city", and make it ALL Wicomico County. With the savings from gutting the hogs at the trough in the city, EVERYONE will get a tax reduction.

Anonymous said...

I respectfully disagree.
Lets put it this way.
When the 911 fee was initiated, regardless of the size of your property or how many bedroom you have, EVERY phone line was taxed 1.99 a month. Fair. I had 2 phone lines and was taxed twice, but I took action and each month with my payment provided a waiver to opt out of the second fee. Why should I have to pay twice when I only had one home.

With your plan, why should I have to pay more because I have a second floor, and they may NEVER come to my home, ever.

Everyone should pay the same, period.

Anonymous said...

How about giving us NON children in the school system a f break and make the welfare crowd pay for each kid they have in the system and save us county/city Tax payers $.

Anonymous said...

We all ready pay taxes. Why pay for a service I may never need? Just like poor people without kids paying school taxes. Absurd!

JoeAlbero said...

Here's what I think EVERYONE should be thinking about.

Throughout all my 53 years of life, the Fire Service has always been public safety, NUMBER ONE.

They raise money, (volunteers) to support their mission and most everyone I know has openly donated for their wants and needs.

Itu wasn't until Barrie Tilghman and GOVERNMENT got involved when it then became a BUSINESS.

Yes, there are many great Firefighters who do it for the RIGHT reason, they care about their community and residents.

Mayor Jim Ireton is now using the Fire Department and ALL of their Firefighters to further his BUSINESS interests. He is trying to pit Firefighters against County Executive Culver.

The most unfortunate part is, Ireton will be gone in a short period of time and he will have burned a century old bridge for the next Mayor. Ireton will try to remain in local politics by running for a Council position and his ultimate hope is to become Council President to BLOCK anything Jake Day, (should he win) from moving the City forward.

The citizens/voters of Salisbury have been extremely stupid, (for the most part). You better wake the hell up before they ALL ramrod their game down your throats, just as they did by adding TWO additional Council Seats.

Anonymous said...


Please POST what city buildings that are in the COUNTY.

Anonymous said...

IF the idiot mayor wants to save the city tax payers money get rid of the paid FF ? and let it go ALL volunteer Ohhhhhhhhhhhh but thats not the plan is it little Jane.

Anonymous said...

If your address is Salisbury but you are not within city limits you get what the rest of the county gets. Volunteers. Give the Volunteers back all the equipment they have paid for and make the City reimburse them for all funds given to the city to buy equipment. Let them run the calls that are not in the city. That is what the rest of the county is left with. Every one of the volunteers in the county get a tax credit for being a volunteer yet calls are being delayed because no one wants to show up. The county is giving money to these departments and someone needs to check to make sure the books match!

Anonymous said...

If I was ever thinking of supporting your future runs, you have just lost it.
The plan is not fair by any means.

Anonymous said...

Screw that!!! don't suck Fruitland up in Salisbury's fiscal mismanagement. Rhey alone Destroyed the volunteers raped, pilaged and plundered them. Now they want to create a DEEPER MONEY PIT !/$/ bite me!!! you all already get enough taxes to DO THE JOB!! figure it out! NO TAX INCREASE. Salisburys made their fire-bed hope they are comfee?Fruitland says pound sand Jim

Anonymous said...

LOL, All city buildings are in the Wicomico county

Steve said...

614 & 615 have my vote. The fire service needs to be a county run operation, not city. If every property is taxes the same for the service, the fire companies would be reimbursed equally to the number of calls they answer.

And, with Bob at the helm, I'm sure the ambulance chasing and lunch catering with the fire trucks would come to a screeching halt!

And speaking of screeching, we wouldn't have to listen to little Jimmy's any more!

Anonymous said...

The crux of the matter is Liartons demeanor. If it is truly an unfair issue, then it needs to be resolved, but his constant temper tantrums and uber defensiveness do not make people want to work with him.
As a city resident, I do not think I should have to foot the bill to support those who do not contribute their fair share. It is not my responsibility.

Anonymous said...

A tax, really, Muir? Fire response could be billed to insurance. People are already paying for the coverage. Why should they pay a second time with a tax? The tax differential being taken care of would also help to make things fair for all who use the service.

Anonymous said...

62% of Salisbury citizens rent , making 38% property/homeowners A property owner who lives outside of city limits is ineligible to vote, but renters are eligible to vote. I am a homeowner in Salisbury and I vote.
I would move in an instant if I could sell.

A renter is not going "wake the hell up". what do they have to gain or even lose, why should they care? The property owner pays the taxes, water/ sewer, trash fees, city inspections and property rental license fee and now the fire tax if one is added. The renter generally pays rent and utilities.

Many city homeowners became unhappy with the cost of city and county taxes. and sold and moved outside the city. Buyers purchase houses for rentals. Now the profit from rentals has decreased greatly and property owners also are competing will all the subsidized housing market. This is happening all over the United States. Property owners cannot vote and renters are electing the officials.

Has Ireton said he will not run for Mayor or he will run for Council? Has Jake Day said he will run for Mayor? Or are these "facts" just speculation?

Anonymous said...

Renter in the city should. Not be allowed to vote only the home owners.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Boda is wrong, again. We don't need more government bureaucracy, which is what he is proposing.

Anonymous said...

Now that SU is doing what it should have done a long time ago, building student housing has left slumlords in a bind. They are desperate to find renters so they are renting as low income housing. Why else would they be funding some of the scum running for local political positions?

Anonymous said...

Spoken like a true democrat... Just what we need, another complex tax scheme to muddy the waters!
I really think fire service for both city/county need a top/down review before anything is decided.
Mr. Boda please change parties, you’re making the rest of the republicans look bad!

Anonymous said...

since I live just outside the city limits and 1 mile from a "city" fire station my donation of the $100.00 will now be made to another fire company if SFD decides not to respond to my house. I hope more will do the same.

Anonymous said...

9:27 So you want to bring back only property owners can vote? That is how it was two hundred years ago.

Concerned retiree said...

This guy is an idiot. Does this mean my insurance will not be billed Approx. $1000.00 per ambulance that responds and $5000.00 per Fire truck that responds, needed or not. These figures came from an insurance company

Where is this money going? Where is the check given to the Volunteer organization going? Where is the check from the State given to the Vollies going? Answer these questions before you embrace another tax you IDIOT.

I agree 6:20 bring back the Volunteers and their structured organization. There was not this greed when there was Paid and Volunteers.

Hoppes, Gordy and others where Volunteers until they got to big for there pants. They know our Fire Departments were a lot better before See and Tilghman screwed it up because they wanted full control of all the money labeled Fire whether it was paid or volunteer.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Boda -

Please peddle your BS somewhere else, like California.

Anonymous said...

Boda shifts positions like a wind sock at the airport.

Despite his extreme interest in being elected to something, anything, whatever we have seen him talk. And we're not impressed.

In sum, very bad idea; another runaway train of unaccountable costs and administrative fees!

Anonymous said...

Just what we need... ANOTHER tax.