Property tax revenues provide almost all funding for TVF&R. We receive property taxes through a ($1.52/$1,000 of assessed value) permanent tax rate, a local option levy that funds firefighters and equipment, and a general obligation bond tax levy that pays for capital construction projects approved by voters in 2006. The District’s permanent tax rate was set in 1997 as part of the implementation of a statewide constitutional tax measure.
Our voters have supported additional funding for enhanced firefighter staffing and supporting equipment through local option levies, which expire in five years. District voters supported an enhanced replacement levy in May 2014 and renewed the levy in May 2019 at the same rate of 45 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation. This five-year levy allows TVF&R to retain 92 firefighters and paramedics hired since 2000 to help provide fast, safe, and effective emergency response. The levy will also be used to purchase land for future fire stations, fire hose, firefighting tools, and medical equipment to ensure effective emergency response throughout the District.
Station construction, land for fire stations, and command operating centers including emergency operating components, emergency response vehicles, and other long-term capital investments such as seismic improvements for faster response after an earthquake, have been funded through a series of bond sales after a 2006 voter approval of the sale of up to a total of $77.5 million of general obligation bonds. The current tax rate for the debt under a separate debt levy totals 14.2 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation of property.
The District has received national awards from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) consecutively since 1987 for its audited financial reports and since 1987-88 for its budget documents. The District submits its bonds for credit rating by Moody’s Investor Service, and currently holds the highest rating attainable, Aaa.