In response to the “Do the Math,” published in the Jan. 30 print edition of The Malibu Times

Ms. Reinsma’s letter stated that she lives in a ranch house on five acres of land. She is mistakenly under the impression that if Measure FD passes, she will be taxed $.06 per square foot for her entire parcel of land and residence. She stated that she currently pays $5,328.97 in property taxes to Los Angeles County. She believes that if Measure FD passes, the tax assessor will assess her for the entire five-acre parcel at $2,513 per acre for a total of $13,068.

Fortunately, she is mistaken in her calculations. I would like to point out that Measure FD only applies to structural improvements. I live in a 2,000 sq. ft. house in the unincorporated area of the county.  By my calculations, if Measure FD passes, it will add $120.00 per year to my taxes. (2,000 x $.06 = $120) It is worth the investment, in my opinion.

While many will say this is just another way around Proposition 13, I believe the passage of Measure FD will bring a long overdue benefit to the constantly underfunded budget of the Los Angeles County Fire Dept. The growth in the unincorporated areas of the county has exploded while the level of emergency protection has failed to keep pace with that growth. Additionally, due to this growth and the obvious changes in environmental conditions, fighting fires in the wildland urban interface has become much more difficult and dangerous. Research has shown that wildland fires around the world have increased in intensity and frequency causing greater loss of property and life. As a former chief officer and wildland firefighting instructor, I address this issue with 40 years of knowledge and experience.

I urge everyone to read the ballot measure and get the facts. I have added a portion of the the ballot measure and a website that shows the complete measure below. Don’t be fooled by false information being written about this measure. Do your homework and then you do the math.

Approval of Measure FD (“Measure”) would authorize the Consolidated Fire Protection District of Los Angeles County (“District”) to levy a special tax (“Tax”) annually on improved parcels within the 56 cities and unincorporated areas of the County of Los Angeles (“County”) in the District identified in the Measure, commencing with fiscal year 2020-21. The Tax shall be levied at a rate of 6 cents per square foot of structural improvements up to 100,000 square feet, excluding square footage of improvements used for parking, on all taxable parcels. The rate shall be adjusted by 2 percent (2%) annually, or by the California Consumer Price Index, whichever is less. The Tax has no expiration date. This Measure was placed on the ballot by resolution of the County and District.

Neil J. Petzing

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