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Cut Newcastle tax burden

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Information surrounding Measures B and K — Newcastle Fire Department: I feel there are a number of individuals who do not understand the full impact of the tax that has been imposed on the average property owner in the Newcastle Fire Protection District. Please keep in mind that the district has been receiving $74.16 per year per parcel owner before Measure B. Measure B: Reflects an increased fee per year, per parcel, to $220.62. This is not per property owner, it is per parcel. Some of our farming community has two, three and four parcels, inherited mostly from prior family members before them. Most are on retirement income, Social Security, pensions, etc. and cannot afford the Measure B costs of $441.24 for two parcels; or $661.86 for three parcels; or $882.48 for four parcels. This would continue with (up to) a 3 percent increase per year thereafter. We were originally informed that the new tax would be per owner of land and not per parcel. That soon changed. Measure K, currently on the ballot, would allow for the above figures for three years and then reduce down to the original $82.14 plus $30 maintenance fee for a total per property owner of $112.14. With the funds received over the three years, a new fire hall could be built and the salaries and benefits increased for the firemen. The maintenance would then be taken care of by the increased fee to $112.14. We all know that there are many retired people living in the Newcastle area. Many of them live in the Castle City Mobile (Home) Park with no property ownership and therefore no property tax being paid. The owner of the park has, if I have been informed correctly, two parcels of land. We all want our elderly neighbors to be taken care of in an emergency but it is my understanding that the Newcastle Fire Department does not have paramedics or equipment to help these people with a serious medical problem. Nobody, nobody, wants to take anything away from the fire department — but, Cal Fire tax is in the mail for $115 also and increases fire department tax to $335.16 per parcel. All we want to do is reduce, after three years, this tax burden that nobody has control of and few can afford. Please vote yes on Measure K. ANNA J. CHIARATTI, Auburn