Carefree voters strike down new tax for enhanced fire and emergency services
CAREFREE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - Sixty-six percent of the registered Carefree voters voted ‘no’ on a proposition for a new property tax capped at $2 million that would have funded the transition to a regional emergency response system called ‘automatic aid’, which would require emergency response from the nearest available station. The measure was approved unanimously by the town council.
The average home in Carefree would have just under $700 in property taxes. “A lot of folks voted, instructions were clear, our marching orders are clear, this is what we’re going to do...they are clearly comfortable with the service in place today,” said Mayor John Crane, who reacted to the vote that struck down the ‘automatic aid’ proposal. “Throughout America, there is a strong sentiment against taxes,” said Mayor Crane.
Right now, the service is a contract with Rural Metro, a private company that runs under ‘mutual aid,’ which means they can ask other stations for help during an emergency but decline if they feel they don’t have the resources.
Opponents of the tax said the current system works just fine, but some city officials called the system ‘inadequate regional assistance during a time of need.’ “They’ve been great partners for us; they’ve been here since I started living here,” said Mayor Crane.
The town will automatically renew its contract with Rural Metro for 42 months after this one expires.
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