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Measure D outlook unclear

Services likely reduced if it fails
By: Sara Seyydin Journal Staff Writer
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Voters in the North Auburn-Ophir area appear to have spoken, with early results indicating Measure D, a tax increase to further fund the area?s fire protection services may fail. As of 10 p.m. Tuesday 59.58 percent of voters opposed the measure. The tax would have increased current charges by $40 per home in a residential development, $20 per unit in mobile home parks and 4.6 cents per square foot for commercial and industrial buildings. It would have included the possibility of fees being raised each year by a cost of living adjustment or 3 percent, whichever is higher. Without the tax increase, fire officials serving in the area say the level of service will suffer. They cite property tax revenue shortfalls as the major reason for the budget woes. Steve Mueller, fire captain at Station 180 in the North Auburn-Ophir area of Placer County Fire, said while official results weren?t in, if the tax doesn?t pass, changes are sure to follow. ?If the measure doesn?t pass, there is going to be changes to the level of fire service,? Mueller said. ?That is going to be determined at the much higher level than the fire station.? Marge Moltzen, of Auburn, said she is concerned about maintaining fire service levels on her rural property, so she decided to vote ?yes? on Measure D. ?I live in the boonies and I need the fire department out there. It?s important they be able to upgrade and do things,? Moltzen said. ?We have had some bad fires out there.? Ann Massuere, 69, of Auburn, says with the dip in property taxes, residents of the North Auburn-Ophir area need to have a way to make up for the loss of revenue to the fire department. She said Measure D is one way to accomplish that. ?Nobody likes paying taxes, but if you want services you have to,? Massuere said. Tom Clark said while he doesn?t live in the North Auburn-Ophir fire district, he does work there and is impacted by it daily. ?I like fire service. I work at the hospital,? Clark said. ?I like the fact that we have a good level of service.? Reach Sara Seyydin at saras@goldcountrymedia.com, or follow her on Twitter @AJ_News.