FAQ Below is a list of some of the most common asked questions and the answers. You can always contact the Hillsboro Fire Protection District at 636-797-3619 if you have additional questions.
Question 1: What are the future goals of the district and why is the tax increase important?
Answer to Question 1: The district maintains and updates a Strategic Management Plan annually. This plan is approved by our Board of Directors who is elected by the taxpayers of the district to represent their best interests in fire and emergency protection. There are two most important goals outlined in the Strategic Management Plan are as follows:
Hire Additional Firefighters to staff Hillsboro Fire Protection District Station 2. This will add an additional 2 firefighters on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Obtaining this tax increase will achieve this goal
Question 2: You just got a grant to hire 6 full time firefighters, why are you asking for more money?
Answer to Question 2: The grant we receive call an AFG SAFER Grant was awarded to us by FEMA and ensures funding for 3 years to hire 6 firefighters. Once the 3-year period is over, no more funding will be available to maintain these 6 firefighters. This tax increase will ensure these positions are permeant.
Question 3: If the tax increase fails, will you have to let go of the 6 firefighters you hired:
Answer to Question 3: Yes, if tax increase fails, there won’t be any funding to keep 6 firefighters
Question 4: Why would you take a grant that isn’t sustainable?
Answer to Question 4: Over the next 3 years having these 6 additional firefighters could save someone’s life or property. The Board, the Fire Chief, the Deputy Chief, and other staff members felt the chance to save someone’s life over the next 3 years was well worth taking the grant funding.
Question 5: If you can afford a brand-new fire truck and other equipment why can’t you afford to hire 6 firefighters?
Answer to Question 5: Fire trucks that work and are not broken are the extremely important for successful fire ground operations. Having to pay to maintain old and used fire apparatus costs operating money every year that could go towards other important programs within the department. The district strives to set aside enough money every year to replace apparatus as they begin to wear out. Typically, a large fire apparatus is slated to last between 15 and 20 years and can cost an upwards of $800,000.00.
Question 6: Is the Hillsboro Fire Protection District in financial trouble?
Answer to Question 6: No, the Hillsboro Fire Protection is not in trouble and continues to manage the taxpayer’s money extremely well. However, we do not have the funding to keep the 6 firefighters with our current tax rate.
Question 7: Where can I find information on Hillsboro Fire Protection District’s budget and financial health?
Question 8: How much money will a $0.3500 tax increase generate for the Hillsboro Fire Protection District?
Question 8 Answer: This tax increase will generate approximately $520,000.00 for the Hillsboro Fire Protection District.
Question 9: What will it cost me?
Question 9 Answer: The formula below will help you figure that out!
(Total Appraised Value of House multiply by 19%) (Divided by 100) (Multiply by Tax Rate) Sample based on a total appraised value of $150,000.00 Current Tax Rate of $.4722 $150,000 X 19% = $28,500.00
$28,500/100 = $285.00
$285.00 X $0.4722 = $134.58 per year in taxes to the Hillsboro Fire District
New Tax Rate with Tax Increase $.8222 $150,000 X 19% = $28,500.00
$28,500/100 = $285.00
$285.00 X $0.8222 = $234.33 per year in taxes to the Hillsboro Fire District
What does it Cost Me? New Tax Rate – Old Tax Rate = What it cost you
$234 - $134 = $100.00 extra per year An Extra $8.33 per month An Extra $0.27 per day
Question 10: I just refinanced my house and it appraised out at $250,000. Is that what I use to figure out my taxes?
Question 10 Answer: NO, NO. The Jefferson County Assessor’s Office uses a mass appraisal system, and it has nothing to do with what you can sell your house for at all! The Assessor’s Office has a much lower appraisal system than the real estate market. Please go to http://jeffersonmo-assessor.devnetwedge.com/ and search for your house to find the exact County Appraisal. Pay no attention to what Zillow or Realtor.com tell you your house is worth, because it has nothing to do with what your home is valued at when it comes to taxes.
Question 11: You just a huge tax increase by my assessed valuation going up! Don’t you have a windfall of tax dollars when you reassess?
Question 11 Answer: No, we sure don’t. In the Missouri Constitution, there is an amendment called the Hancock Amendment. This amendment only allows our budget to grow by the Federal Governments Consumer Price Index and new construction. Even if there is a 100% assessed valuation increase, we would only see an amount equal to the CPI. This year’s CPI is 1.9%. We must roll back our tax rate to comply with Hancock Amendment.
Question 12: What is your tax rate compared to other Fire District’s in Jefferson County?
Question 12 Answer: We have the lowest tax rate of any Fire District in Jefferson County and are lower than any fire district in St. Louis County. In fact, out of 58 surveyed Fire Districts in Jefferson, St. Louis, Franklin, Washington, and St. François County’s, the Hillsboro Fire Protection District had the 45th lowest tax rate out of the 58 districts. In fact, we have the lowest tax rate of any district that employs full time personnel.
Question 13: I need more information, where can I find it?
Question 14: Will this tax increase help build a new firehouse?
Answer to Question 14: No. We have lowered the amount from the last tax increase attempt in order to just retain the 6 full time firefighters. Staffing is more important. The plan to build a new firehouse has been removed from the tax increase plan.
Question 16: How long will this tax increase last the Hillsboro Fire Protection District?
Answer to Question 16: The Hillsboro Fire Protection District has not had a property tax increase since 2001, over22 years ago. We fully expect this tax increase, if approved by the voters to last for many years to come.
Question 17: What is ISO and how does that work?
Answer to Question 17: ISO is an organization who grades fire departments on their effectiveness to handle the fire protection in your community on a scale between 1 and 10. A grade of 10 means there is no recognized fire protection in the area. ISO then shares this information with insurance companies and your homeowner’s rates are partially based on the ISO score. Many people who live further than 5 miles from a firehouse or live in a very rural area have a grade of 10. A score of 1 is the best you can get. The Hillsboro Fire Protection District currently has a ISO score of 5. Someone that tries to buy insurance in an area that has a class 10 rating may pay more than double the homeowner’s rate for someone who has a class 5. Here is an example:
$100,000 home insured with a class 10 rating - $1,000.00 per year
$100,000 home insured with a class 5 rating - $500.00 per year Your fire district taxes cost you $300.00 year.
By having a well-staffed, well trained fire department with a class 5 rating, you save $500.00 on insurance annually. If you pay $300.00 per year in taxes, a class 5 fire department is putting an extra $200.00 back in your pocket annually. This is just and example and may not apply to all insurance companies.
Question 18: What does it cost to employ 6 fulltime Firefighters
Answer to Question 18: Approximately $441,000.00 annually including wages, insurance, workers compensation, taxes and other multiple other expenses.