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What is Proposition 1?

Proposition 1 asks voters’ permission to:

  • Restore RFA’s fire levy to a rate of $1.35 per $1,000 in assessed value for the 2025 tax year; and
  • Give RFA permission to annually increase the fire levy by up to 6% as needed in years 2026-2030.

A simple majority – 50% + 1 yes votes out of total votes cast – is needed to pass Proposition 1.

What will Proposition 1 do?

Under state law, annual RFA tax collection dollars cannot increase more than 1%. Therefore, property value increases every year cause the RFA tax collection rate to drop. When Riverside Fire Authority was formed in 2008, voters set the fire levy rate at $1.50 per $1,000 in assessed value. Today the fire levy rate is $1.04. Fire Authorities are allowed to ask voters to approve increases over 1%. Proposition 1 asks voters to approve a levy lid lift to $1.35/$1,000 to bring revenues in line with RFA’s current costs. Proposition 1 also asks approval to temporarily increase the fire levy amount by up to 6% per year in years 2026-2030 to match revenue to inflationary costs. In 2031, the limit factor will revert back to the regular maximum of 1% per year.

How will RFA use the funds?

  • Staffing: Restore staffing to 2013 levels with 7 firefighters per shift for a total of 28 career firefighter/emergency medical responders. This restoration will allow us to maintain reliable emergency response services, even during frequent simultaneous emergency responses.
  • Volunteers: RFA relies on a cadre of highly trained volunteer FF/EMS responders to maintain service levels our community members need and deserve. Funds would sustain RFA’s recruitment and retention program that has had proven success, adding 25 critically needed volunteers in just 2 years. Our volunteers serve in all areas of the RFA.  
  • Prevention: Public education reduces fire risks and improves health by making people aware of working smoke alarms, sleeping with doors closed, fall prevention, family fire escape plans, and other proven prevention strategies. Funds will help intensify the delivery of these messages and fire code administration with restoring an Assistant Chief/Fire Marshal position and hiring a part-time risk reduction specialist and part-time inspector.
  • Efficiencies: Sustain a new Community Assistance Referral & Education Services (CARES) program to reduce the impact of high frequency system users by addressing the root causes of their reliance on the 911 system for access to primary care resources. CARES improves lives more effectively and at a lower cost than traditional 9-1-1 responses.
  • Training: Fire and EMS responses are inherently dangerous. Quality training improves firefighter safety. Well-trained responders provide high-performing service delivery to our public and these funds will help to expand the program curriculum.
  • Health & Wellness: Comprehensive health screening will be offered to all personnel, career and volunteer, to help prevent cancer-related and other common health issues. Responders will also have access to the mental health tools necessary to adequately process and cope with stress caused by their work.
  • Funding Stability: Proposition 1 will ensure stable funding to address the challenges of increasing expenses due to inflation and equipment advancements that are evident throughout the fire service industry.
  • Maintenance:  Every year the cost of maintaining eight stations, a comprehensive fleet of vehicles, equipment, and responders rises. Maintenance deferred means higher repair costs later. Proposition 1 will fund robust systems to ensure RFA resources are ready for any emergency in any part of the service area, while putting money aside for expensive capital investments.

What will the $1.35 rate cost an individual taxpayer?

In 2025, the difference between the current $1.04 levy rate and $1.35 levy rate would be an increase of $2.61 per month for every $100,000 of assessed value.