Update on Proposed Special District
Missoula property owners protested against the proposed Public Safety & Justice District at a rate of 12.78 percent of property value in the district as of protests received through May 31. According to the state law governing special districts, a protest greater than 10 percent must be posed to voters as a referendum to move forward. The City’s administration removed the proposed district from the FY2015 proposed budget on Monday, June 16, and the City Council adopted the amended budget that evening.
The protest period remains open through Friday, June 20, at 5 p.m. The dedicated telephone line is still available. If you have questions, call 552-6083. A City staff member will return your call. Learn more here.
Special District Proposal
The City of Missoula is looking for new, innovative ways to fund public needs for services, equipment and facilities used in the work of public safety and justice. The structure of state revenue law puts cities in a bind because tax revenue from the existing tax base cannot, by design, keep up with inflation and the increase in the cost of services.
The creation of a district provides a dedicated way to fund a specific group of public services. Historically, the City has used voted general obligation bonds for individual items, such as fire equipment and new City facilities like fire stations and aquatics facilities. For fire trucks, that means funding that arrives in clusters after the bond is approved. A special district allows City management to be systematic and deliberative in planning and funding for the needs by providing continual financing.
Today’s needs include fire trucks and engines for the Fire Department and space for training and evidence storage for the Police Department. The Police Department also needs to fund its work and innovations to comply with the U.S. Department of Justice agreement.
The City is asking to fund the district with $350,000 in Fiscal Year 2015 for Police Department expenses and with $800,000 in FY16 for Fire and Police Department needs. Future assessments will be determined by the Mayor and City Council after conducting public hearings.
Please spend some time with our informational slide show and other items linked on this page to understand the proposed district and the needs in the areas of public safety and justice.Timeline