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Supervisors Block Bid to Cut Fire Tax

September 15, 2004|Sue Fox | Times Staff Writer

It was a request seldom heard at the County Hall of Administration.

County Fire Chief P. Michael Freeman told the Board of Supervisors that his department had enough money and asked them to cut a homeowners tax.

But the supervisors, led by two Republicans, blocked the proposal. The board voted 3 to 2 to retain the money, about $3.4 million annually, though the Fire Department has a $70-million surplus.

The tax break would have amounted to about $3 per year for property owners in the county fire district. Voters approved the tax in 1997.

"In districts like mine, three dollars on a tax bill is something that people pay attention to," said Supervisor Yvonne Brathwaite Burke, who joined Gloria Molina in backing the reduction.

But union members from Los Angeles County Firefighters Local 1014 opposed the tax cut.

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