Much has been said about the pros and cons of a potential property tax in Carefree. One thing in particular is a major concern. If Carefree voters say yes to a self imposed property tax , it is a generational decision impacting all of Carefree for the next 25 years. A yes vote puts the quality of life management of fire safety and EMS response in the hands of Maricopa Board of Supervisors who are charged with Automatic Aid oversight and control. As of late, this political group has not inspired confidence in its management ability or integrity. We become just one more political pawn.
If we were to go to Automatic Aid and not be satisfied with the service, we could not switch to another alternative for 25 years! That should worry us all as a small community competing for resources against the likes of Phoenix and Scottsdale. It would be another example of tax payers paying the bill without the benefit of how the money is spent. As well, once a property tax is implemented, it will be with us forever, regardless of claims to the contrary.
We must vote to stay with Rural Metro who have served this community for close to 50 years with distinction and dedication, consistently delivering top quality service and response. These fire fighters know the quirky Carefree landscape. They are our neighbors, located in Carefree not a distant fire department vaguely familiar with our communities and terrain.We have the benefit of a fully staffed station and experienced firefighters while other fire stations are under staffed, experiencing high attrition rates. While proponents of a property tax advertise 5 stations are better than one, know those fire stations also serve a much larger community with longer response times than does our Carefree station That does not equate to “better service.”
To say yes to a property tax will have us paying more money for less service than we currently have with Rural Metro. A vote in the affirmative makes no sense when comparing Carefree’s less than 4 minute response of Rural Metro to the failed Automatic Aid response times of 8:54 for Phoenix and 6:44 for Scottsdale: both longer than the national standard of 5:20.
Saying yes to a property tax to join Assisted Aid has us becoming part of a system already understaffed, overwhelmed and in crisis.
Living in Carefree currently offers us less taxation than in surrounding communities, plus stellar fire protection and EMS assistance. We need to value our unique situation and guard it with a NO vote on property tax.