Letter writer questions effectiveness of tax reforms by MFPD board

To the editor:

As far as I know, the Mehlville Fire Protection District board has prevailed in every lawsuit brought against it by the firefighter’s union over the various measures implemented to reduce the cost of operating the district.

Moreover, voters in 2009 overwhelmingly approved giving the board the right to roll back the MFPD’s tax rate.

And yet, the real property-related tax my wife and I paid to the MFPD for calendar year 2010 was up 10.6 percent over what we paid for calendar year 2009 even though the assessed valuation of our home did not change. And when I checked the change from CY 2008 to CY 2009, I found that even though the assessed value of my home had decreased by 3.4 percent, the tax I paid to the MFPD went up by 6.8 percent.

My impression, based on articles I have read in the Call, had been that the taxes required for operation of the MFPD had been steadily decreasing every year since Mr. Hilmer and Ms. Stegman assumed control of the Board of Directors.

Perhaps the Call will investigate and publish an article to explain why we are paying a higher percentage in taxes to the MFPD when everything I read indicates that the MFPD board has taken steps to reduce costs and now has the authority to actually reduce the tax rate.

Gerald M. Kulage


Editor’s note: The ballot measures to which Mr. Kulage refers, Proposition 1 and Proposition 2, reduced the fire district’s tax-rate ceiling by a total of 40 cents.