|Tax Information Related To Proposition 2|
|By Commissioner Timothy Hutchings|
|October 24, 2016|
Proposition2, the retirement plan proposed for City of Hudson Volunteer Firefighters, is obviously not free. It is however a drop in the bucket compared to what city residents already pay in retirement and health benefits for paid city employees.
***The following cost estimate is based on the entire active department roster (81 members) meeting the criteria to receive the benefit.
Based on the current active membership roster, the annual cost could be as much as $93,000 for the first five years; which is about 24¢ per $1,000 of assessed property value. For a property assessed at $100,000, the property owner will pay about $24.15 a year for this program.
After five years, when the cost of the pre-2017 service credit is paid off, the annual cost is expected to decrease to about $48,000, which is about 12.5¢ per $1,000 of assessed property value or about $12.50 a year.
The Real Numbers
Based on current call attendance records less than 50 members will qualify for the 2012-2016 benefits which will reduce the startup expense by over one third. Within that number, not all will qualify for the entire five year benefit due to various reasons. They may not have been a member for the entire five years or they may not have been active enough to qualify for all five years. This will further decrease the first five year startup costs.
As with any volunteer entity the active role each member contributes heavily revolves around their availability. Not everyone has the amount of time available that is required to receive enough points to qualify for the yearly benefit. With this in mind it is estimated that at any given time only 50-60 percent of our members will qualify.
The primary goal of this system is to not only recruit career minded individuals but also to provide an incentive for retaining and reactivating firefighters who are already trained and experienced.
The prospect of a paid fire department in such a small municipality is simply not an option. The negative impact on taxes would be devastating to small businesses, property owners, and the many families who call Hudson their home.
Since 1794 the members of the City of Hudson Department of Fire have protected the structures and citizens of the city on an all volunteer basis. Many of the historical buildings in our fine city are still standing due to the brave and aggressive actions of your fire department. With your support, we would like the tradition and professionalism of an all volunteer force to continue well into the future.