The City Council has ordered a staff financial study of San Marino's police, fire and paramedic services and will discuss having measures put on the November general election ballot to renew assessments for public safety that voters approved more than three years ago.
City Administrator Brice Stephenson said the special taxes finance 55% of the Police Department's $1.7-million annual budget, 59% of the Fire Department's $1.3-million budget and 100% of the paramedics' $138,000 budget.
In two separate 1983 ballot measures, one to give additional support to the police and fire departments and a separate one for paramedics, voters approved special yearly taxes that range from $244 to $731 for residential property owners and from $590 to $1,572 for commercial properties.
The levies are based on size of properties, and a San Marino resident, attorney Philip Heckendorn, has sued to prohibit the assessments, contending that they violate Proposition 13, the property tax limitation initiative passed in 1978. The case is now before the California Supreme Court.