The Ripon Consolidated Fire District’s plan to impose a parcel tax to pay for staffing a new fire station doesn’t look like it’s going to come to fruition.
Measure A – the Ripon Consolidated Fire District Public Safety Special Tax – is currently being defeated. The measure has almost 900 more no votes according to the most recent data posted by the San Joaquin County Registrar of Voters office.
Only 868 people voted for the tax, which would have imposed a $125 parcel tax that provided the necessary staffing for the new River Road fire station and aided the district in improving its response time, while 1,767 people have voted against it.
A dispute with Bethany Home over the original language of the proposal, which ended up on the ballot, led to a very public battle over whether the parcel tax – which as originally written would have charged seniors at the majority of Bethany Home’s units twice as much as regular residents – was justified. While the fire board voted to scrap that plan and agreed to uniformity, Bethany Home still stood in opposition to the parcel tax because the original language was what appeared on the ballot, and their legal representation told them that could lead to issues down the road with a change in administration.
While there are still outstanding absentee and provisional ballots left to be counted – upwards of 65 percent or voters used mail ballots for this election in San Joaquin County – they are unlikely to change the outcome moving forward.
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