Fire Suppression Assessment

For several years, Metro Fire has reduced its operating costs in various ways to address a significant loss of property tax revenues caused by the recession (cumulatively, $93 million). By 2012, these cost-cutting actions reduced our annual expenditures by $31 million. Property tax revenue is the primary source of revenue to fund our firefighting crews.

Yet, our service demands in our district continue to increase year after year. For this reason, our response time performance in getting to fire incidents has gradually eroded to the point where we were compelled to examine options for supplemental revenue sources to restore our emergency response capacity.

A Citizens Advisory Committee was convened in October 2012 to review the District operations and financial issues and to advise the District on its options. For more than a year, this committee engaged with senior staff to develop an approach that considered fairness and equity balanced with a demonstrated need to improve community safety.

At its February 27 meeting, the Board of Directors received two reports to help it determine whether Metro Fire should conduct a fire suppression assessment balloting process under Proposition 218 to help fund restoration of fire suppression services to properties. The reports by Willdan Financial Services (Draft Fire Suppression Assessment Engineer’s Report) and Citygate Associates (Revenue to Service Review) are separate but complementary studies of the fiscal, operational and legal considerations attendant to the potential levy of a special fire benefit assessment.

These reports and related information have been posted to this page for public review.

Members of the public were invited to participate in a workshop on Thursday, April 3 to hear presentations and provide input on the matter.  The workshop was held at Metro Fire's Board Chambers located at 10545 Armstrong Avenue, Mather.

Updated April 9, 2014

Metro Fire Chief Kurt P. Henke announced April 9 that he will not ask Metro Fire's Board of Directors to proceed with the balloting assessment. For this reason, Metro Fire's Board of Directors will not meet on April 16, as scheduled, to vote on the question of whether to commence with the vote-by-mail processing.


Comments or questions from the public may be directed to Deputy Chief of Operations Chris Holbrook at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (916) 859-4502.

Key Documents