Carefree has a special election in May to decide on a property tax to fund a switch from our current mutual aid system to a more robust system called automatic aid.
The NO campaign claims that Carefree is safe and tax-free, so we don’t need a property tax. But what do they mean?
We are certainly not as safe as we were three years ago, when average emergency medical and fire response times from our Carefree station were well under the national standard of four minutes. We are not as safe as our neighbors, Scottsdale and Cave Creek, who each can count on automatic dispatches from neighboring communities whenever they need help and who have at least two paramedics on scene even after an ambulance leaves the scene of an emergency.
We are not as safe as our neighbors because they suspended mutual aid support for Carefree in 2022 (or earlier), and because the disintegration of our traditional mutual aid system has caused response times from our Carefree station to become about 35% worse.
We are also not really tax-free. We have among the highest sales taxes in the valley and despite having no municipal property tax, Carefree homeowners pay a property tax of about $5 per $100 of Limited Property Value annually.
Are we satisfied with a “safe” community that has a deteriorating emergency response capability? Are we satisfied with our nearest mutual aid partner now being more than 15 miles away?
I prefer 4 automatic aid partners within 3 miles of Carefree. I prefer a system that will restore our average response time to the national standard. And I’m willing to raise my property tax from $5/$100 to $6/$100 to be as safe as possible.
Please join me in voting YES.
Carefree Public Safety Advisory Committee Member