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MOFD IS THREATENING ORINDA'S SAFETY

Each year Orinda's and Moraga's property values increase meaning each year our property taxes increase and the taxes going to fund MOFD increase.  And each year the taxes from Orinda increase more than the taxes from Moraga so that now Orinda is overpaying MOFD $4.5 million a year while Moraga is underfunding by the same amount.  Orinda taxes are going to reduce Moraga taxes instead of funding safety improvements to Orinda.​

 

Orinda formed MOFD to prevent just this kind of waste.  But our MOFD representatives do nothing about it.  It is time, way past time, for the Orinda City Council to step in.  27 years ago their predecessors formed MOFD and told us Orinda taxes would never again be used outside Orinda, impacting the safety of Orinda.  But here we are.  With the greatest fire risk in the Bay Area and maybe the state, costing us tens of millions of dollars in increased fire insurance and maybe, if there is actually a fire, with our lives.​

 

Below is a letter sent to the City Council urging them to step in.​___________________________________________________________​

 

Sent: Sunday, June 30, 2024 1:07 PM

To: Brandyn Iverson - Orinda Council <biverson@cityoforinda.org>; Darlene Gee - Orinda Council  <dgee@cityoforinda.org>; Inga Miller - Orinda Council <imiller@cityoforinda.org>; Janet Riley - Orinda Council  <jriley@cityoforinda.org>; Latika Malkani - Orinda Council <lmalkani@cityoforinda.org>

Subject: MOFD is threatening Orinda's safety

 

Dear City Council:

 

The Assessor's office annual letter of assessed values for 2024/25 has been released. (attached)

 

Orinda's tax base increased 3.83%; up $360 million from $9.38 billion to $9.74 billion.

 

Moraga's tax base increased 4.19%; up $230 million from $5.55 billion to $5.78 billion.

 

With 22.6% of Orinda's property tax going to MOFD, our tax "contribution" to MOFD increased $815,000 ($90,000 per firefighter stationed in Orinda) while Moraga's 18.8% allocation increased $450,000 ($57,000 per firefighter).

 

Orinda is now subsidizing Moraga with $4.45 million Orinda tax dollars. (detail attached)

 

As you may know, at their June 19 board meeting Orinda's representatives Jorgens and Danziger (Roemer was absent) voted once again against increasing Moraga's parcel tax (by $2 million) so that our "partners" would pay closer to their fair share, which would allow more Orinda tax dollars to be used for service to Orinda (which was the entire reason Orinda formed MOFD in the first place).

 

As you also know, property insurers have effectively informed Orinda, by cancelling up to 50% of their home insurance policies, that Orinda has the highest fire risk of any city in the Bay Area, possibly the state.  Our wildfire prevention plan is not working.  We need to spend tax dollars removing excess vegetation which is the only way to reduce the risk.  But our tax dollars are going to subsidize service in Moraga.

 

Spending Orinda tax dollars for service outside Orinda is not what we voted for when forming MOFD (voters' pamphlet attached).  The only mechanism put in place to assure that Orinda tax dollars are spent in Orinda was electing residents of Orinda onto the MOFD Board.  But they are failing us. The "mechanism" put in place to maximize Orinda's safety is failing us. The City Council needs to take action before the proof that Orinda is a fire trap, the destruction of Orinda, becomes a reality.​​​

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