Orinda’s Wildfire Prevention Needs Again Ignored by MOFD Board
At their June 15, 2022 Board Meeting, the MOFD Directors set the parcel tax rates for Orinda and Moraga as they do annually. Once again, as they have done since MOFD was formed, they chose to save Moragan's money as opposed to serving Orinda as Orindans were promised, using Orinda tax dollars for service to Orinda.
These rates are denominated in “cents”. Each “cent” of the Orinda tax generates about $80,000 of revenue and each “cent” of the Moraga tax about $88,000 ($10,000 of which from 750 homes in South Orinda). The Orinda tax has a rate “cap” of 6 cents, the Moraga tax a rate cap of 30 cents. Since 2009 both rates have been set at 6 cents.
The Board received a letter reminding them of the facts of the case:
* Moraga and Orinda are served equally.
* This year property taxes to MOFD from Orinda properties totaled $20.6 million, $20 million allocated from ad valorem taxes and $615,000 from fire flow parcel taxes. This equated to $2,900 per household for the 7,150 Orinda households.
* Property taxes to MOFD from Moraga and Canyon properties totaled $10.8 million, $10.3 million allocated from ad valorem taxes and $480,000 from fire flow parcel taxes. This equated to only $1,900 per household for the 5,750 Moraga and Canyon households.
* If the Moraga Zone parcel tax rate was increased to 30 cents, the revenue per household in Moraga would increase from $1,900 to $2,200.
Still not the $2,900 Orinda residents are paying, but closer.
The Board ignored the facts and continued to undercharge Moraga. The result is that next year $4 million from Orinda taxpayers will be used to provide Moraga with the same service Orinda receives and Orinda’s needs, wildfire prevention, will be ignored.
To add insult to injury, the two directors representing Moraga were absent from the meeting. The Board’s 3-0 vote to undercharge Moraga and ignore Orinda’s needs came from Orinda’s three board members.