BY KRISTI REED
Winder’s fire tax millage rate could soon increase 39.5 percent if the city council approves the rate change as part of the 2009 budget.
The council voted Tuesday to notify the public that it is considering raising the millage rate from 2.15 mils to 3 mils. City Administrator Bob Beck said the amount would represent a tax of approximately $34 per year on a $100,000 home.
The city collects between $650,000 and $700,000 annually from the fire tax. That amount is used to support the operations of the Winder Fire Department. Currently, the fire tax provides approximately 37 percent of the fire department’s operating costs. If the new rate is approved, the percentage will increase to 47 percent.
Last year, the City of Winder hired three new firemen, which improved the city’s ISO rating from Category 4 to Category 3. In addition to funding the additional salaries, the fire tax revenue will be used to offset the cost of replacing the department’s 1975 ladder truck.
The city will hold three public hearings over the next few months regarding the proposed tax increase.
For more coverage of the Winder City Council, see this week's Braselton News.
So why is it that on April 9th 2008 they say their considering a a hike in the fire tax to help fund a future purchase of a ladder truck and on April 14th their ladder truck fails the required inspection very convenient timing if you asked me someone should be questioning the fire chief on the timing of this matter and why the city needs a new ladder truck while the county already has one on order to be delivered in just a few months. talk about timing