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Published August 2nd, 2023
Letters to the editor

MOFD Fire Flow Parcel Tax

The MOFD Fire Flow Parcel Tax is a "top up" tax used to supplement regular property taxes. MOFD Director Mike Roemer, elected to represent 7,300 Orinda residents, said that it is fair to tax Orindans and Moragans the same rate for this top up tax. He is wrong.
$21.2 million of Orinda's property taxes go to MOFD. That equates to $2,925 per household. $10.8 million of Moraga's property tax goes to MOFD. That equates to $1,900 per family. The average revenue for the district as a whole is $2,475 per household.
Orinda families already pay $450 a year more than it costs MOFD to operate while Moraga families pay $575 less than it costs to serve them. Orindans pay 50% more than Moragans for the same service.
Why is it fair that Orinda families pay any "top up" tax at all and why is it not fair that Moraga families pay the full $575 shortfall
Currently the average property owner in Moraga only pays $82 in parcel tax. The MOFD Board could have increased that to $410, an additional $1 per day. It still would not cover the shortfall but would have come closer than what it is now.
How Roemer can tell the 7,300 families he is representing in Orinda that charging them an additional $80 on top of the $450 a year they are already being overcharged is fair, is beyond me.
The last issue of Lamorinda Weekly quoted Roemer saying that he had spoken with "many taxpayers who told them that they consider the present structure to be fair." I don't know what he told them the "structure" was, but I cannot believe anyone would say that charging one resident 50% more than another for the same service is fair.
Roemer says he has an obligation to keep this community united. Orinda walked away from service by ConFire 26 years ago for exactly this reason; not using Orinda tax dollars in Orinda. It can happen again.
For more details on how Orinda is subsidizing Moraga's service with $4.3 million, see www.SaferOrinda.info/latest-news.
Steve Cohn

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