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Supervisors Delay Decision on Raising Fire Protection Fees

August 18, 1995

After a brief public hearing, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Thursday delayed a decision for a month on a proposal to boost the county Fire Department's fire protection charge for homeowners by more than 50%.

More than 550,000 homeowners in unincorporated areas and cities served by county firefighters would see their annual property assessment rise from $36.55 to $55.96 if the increase is approved. Fees for apartment buildings and other commercial properties also would be increased.

County Fire Chief P. Michael Freeman told the supervisors that a decline in real estate values will reduce the amount that the department receives in property taxes. The increase in the annual assessment is necessary to partially offset the loss, he said.

Freeman said failure to adopt the increase may result in the closure of nine fire stations and a reduction in other operations.

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