Ambulance service in Sierra Valley is provided by paramedic-staffed ambulances from Eastern Plumas Healthcare. Ambulance service in western Sierra County is provided by Downieville Fire Protection District staffed by volunteers and a paramedic paid for by private donations.
The current Downieville Fire Protection District advanced EMS budget is $100,000 and includes donated financial support for the paramedic, advanced medications, equipment, and supplies. Downieville ambulance is the local lifeline, delivering emergency care for both the Sierra City Fire District and the Downieville Fire Protection District.
Ballot Measures G & H offer a blended approach to fund Advanced EMS and Fire & Rescue Services by dividing the responsibility between property owners and visitors. This concept consists of an affordable property tax measure and a slight increase in the Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT). The TOT rate is currently 10%, and it is paid by visitors that rent motel rooms, vacation houses, inns, and resorts. None of the measures are tied together, so they can each pass independently.
The specifics of the measures are as follows:
MEASURE E: INCREASED TRANSIENT OCCUPANCY TAX (TOT) FOR VISITOR SUPPORTED COUNTYWIDE EMS, FIRE AND RESCUE CARE
· Will increase the TOT paid by overnight visitors by 2.5%
· TOT increase will support EMS & Fire & Rescue ONLY
· E will raise about $19,500 annually for Downieville Fire Protection District (DFPD)
· E will raise about $33,500 annually for Sierra City Fire District (SCFD)
· E will raise about $26,000 annually for Sierra County Fire District #1
· Will start July 1, 2021
· 2/3 approval required by all registered voters in Sierra County
MEASURES G & H: DOWNIEVILLE & SIERRA CITY PROPERTY TAX FOR ADVANCED LIFE SUPPORT EMS, FIRE & RESCUE SERVICES
- G will raise about $18K annually for Downieville Fire Protection District (DFPD)
- H will raise about $28K annually for Sierra City Fire District (SCFD)
- $60 per year per improved parcel; this amounts to only $5/month
- Will start with 2021-2022 property tax bills
- 2/3 approval required per ballot measure
- Will “sunset” in 4 years
- Voter approval required to renew
- No cost-of-living increase