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Lars77 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 02:20 AM
Original message
Firefighters let home burn over $75 fee -- again
Source: MSNBC

SOUTH FULTON, Tenn. -- Firefighters stood by and watched a Tennessee house burn to the ground earlier this week because the homeowners didn't pay the annual subscription fee for fire service.

"You could look out my mom's trailer and see the trucks sitting at a distance," Vicky Bell, the homeowner, said.


For Bell, that sight was almost as disturbing as the fire itself.

"We just wished we could've gotten more out," she said.

Read more: http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/12/07/9272989-fi...
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jakeXT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 02:27 AM
Response to Original message
1. So they just went there and hoping of being paid on the spot? /nt
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Edweird Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 02:41 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. They were probably there in case anyone was hurt.
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GOTV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 08:02 AM
Response to Reply #4
33. Or the fire spread to houses that had paid their bill...
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Lasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 02:59 AM
Response to Reply #1
8. If this is like a previous case I read about, paying on the spot is not an option.
They were probably there to ensure the fire didn't spread.
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Nihil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 04:48 AM
Response to Reply #8
11. Protecting the people who *did* care from the idiots who just wanted things for free.
You choose not to pay (through a "community tax" or whatever)
then you've also chosen to watch your house burn down.
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ET Awful Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 05:59 AM
Response to Reply #11
16. Either you're on the wrong forum or you forgot your sarcasm tags.
Little tip - if someone is living in a single-wide trailer in an unincorporated area, there's a VERY good chance that they have extremely low income and can't actually afford $75. I know that there were times in my life where we literally did NOT have $75, or even $25 (unless we wanted to go without food that week).

This is yet another way of f'ing the poor, that's all.
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spooked911 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 07:39 AM
Response to Reply #16
28. indeed
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GOTV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 08:07 AM
Response to Reply #16
34. Yes, they might not have the money but I'm curious if they voted ...
... for the free market, privatize everything morons who instituted this fee.
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PavePusher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 10:19 AM
Response to Reply #34
46. That had nothing to do with this.
This is about people outside the taxation area, and thus the normal coverage area of the dept., who want fire protection without having to set up another complete fire dept. They contracted with the nearby dept. to have coverage for a fee, in lieu of the taxes they don't pay. No fee, no coverage.

What is the disconnect here?
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GOTV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 01:44 PM
Response to Reply #46
76. The disconnect was I din't realize they had previously been getting fire service for free ...
... and that the people who had been paying for their fire service had decided to stop.

I'm not sure what the other options are. They probably cannot be taxed since they are not in the city. And the obligation of the firefighters in the city have to stop somewhere.
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TheMadMonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 08:22 AM
Response to Reply #16
37. I don't know about this person, but the last time this was discussed here...
...the individual who's house burnt down, both refused to pay the fee, and voted against having the fee made compulsory through an increase in rates.

Sadly, for this person, even if they were unable to pay due to circumstances, rather than the bloody mindedness of the earlier individual, saving the house was not an option, since there would be a whole bunch of fuckwits who would refuse to pay next year, if this person got "free service". AND then there would be NO fire service for anyone at all.

This may well be a way of fucking over the poor, but those doing the fucking are not the fire fighters, but the voters of the county. This my fine friend is simply yet another example of stoopid 'Merkins voting to slice their own throats, because the'll be damned to Hell before they pay one red cent for that "lazy prick"/"dirty <ethnic>" next door/down the street.
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ET Awful Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 08:29 AM
Response to Reply #37
39. I see, so because someone else in the county voted that the poor should have to pay this fee
they should be allowed to lose everything they own because they can't afford to pay. . . . I understand now.

Sorry, the "if we save this house, we might have to save another one later for someone who didn't pay" argument is utter bullshit. See, the solution to that is KEEP THE PAYMENT CONFIDENTIAL. There is no reason whatsoever that the non-payment of such a fee should be made public. Put out the fucking fire, it's the right thing to do.
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jeff47 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 08:44 AM
Response to Reply #39
41. Democracy sucks, huh?
Edited on Thu Dec-08-11 08:48 AM by jeff47
The voters decided not to pay. That screws the poor. The fault lies not with the firefighters, but with the voters.

As for your plan, it's absolutely unworkable. You don't think the people who didn't pay but got fire service are going to talk?
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ET Awful Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 09:46 AM
Response to Reply #41
44. I see, so everything should be subject to the will of the majority . . .
You know, things like slavery (which would have existed far longer if a simple vote was all that was required).

Sorry, "the fault lies with the voters" isn't a valid argument either.
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jeff47 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 10:11 AM
Response to Reply #44
45. So where does the fault lie then?
You seem to be blaming the firefighters for the evil of wanting to receive paychecks and have functional equipment.

As for slavery, that ended via...the voters. They elected an abolitionist president (Then the right-wing tools of the era started the civil war).

Not everything should be left up to majority rule. But when majority rule creates a situation you don't like you shouldn't pretend majority rule didn't cause the problem.
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LanternWaste Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 11:00 AM
Response to Reply #41
51. The tyranny of the majority overrides the safety of the poor.
The tyranny of the majority overrides the safety of the poor.

I imagine many people not merely tolerate, but indeed, endorse that sentiment...
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jeff47 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 11:40 AM
Response to Reply #51
54. There is no fundamental right to firefighting
So yes, this one is up for majority rule.

Reporting of both incidents indicate poverty was not the reason these people didn't pay. They both thought fire could never happen to them. People are assuming poverty in this second case, because the victim lived in a trailer.
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TheMadMonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 06:24 PM
Response to Reply #54
70. Actually IIRC the first person was a self declared Libertarian and...
...one of those who voted against having the $75 added to their county rates.

HE got EXACTLY what he voted for.

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hedgehog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 10:45 AM
Response to Reply #39
48. Trust me - in small towns there is no way this would remain confidential!
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JoeyT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 11:44 AM
Response to Reply #39
55. Putting out the fire might be the right thing to do,
but the right thing to do can also get you sued.

Part of that subscription is allowing F&R onto your property. You can say "I changed my mind, put my house out now!", but contracts made under duress (Like ones signed by the light of your burning house) aren't valid. The reason volunteer fire departments won't touch anything outside their jurisdiction is because they're operating on shoestring budgets and can't afford to be sued. Especially when it's a case they might very well lose.

Putting out fires and eating lawsuits would guarantee in pretty short order that everyone's house burned to the ground when it caught on fire because there wouldn't be a fire department anymore.

It isn't enough they volunteer their time to be firefighters for no pay at all and do it with half-assed shoddy equipment much of which they have to buy themselves, now we expect them to break rules so they can be sued for every penny they'll ever make at their real jobs to boot.
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TheMadMonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 06:19 PM
Response to Reply #39
69. No you obviously don't understand. Because the citizens of that county...
...are such wonderful, rugged, individualist Americans, and voted their rugged individuality, (more than once IIRC) the individual citizens pay for the service, or there would be, NO SERVICE AT ALL.

No there is no need at all to make the payment or non-payment of that fee public. HOWEVER, the provision of fire service outside the town is subject to AUDIT.

This from a recent post of mine: Collectively: You vote to punish not correct; You cheerfully (even gleefully) vote to defund social services not personally relevant; You vote to control aspects of other peoples lives which are none of your gods be damned business. And you do these things repeatedly countrywide.
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Cyrano Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 06:56 AM
Response to Reply #11
21. Yeah, what the hell, Nihil. Those who can't afford to live should just die?
Many who live in trailers can often not afford food, no less a tax for ensuring that their homes don't burn down.

Those "idiots who just wanted things for free," as you put it, probably didn't have the $75 fee. And any town or community that demands such a fee should be ashamed of themselves.
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Tansy_Gold Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 12:46 PM
Response to Reply #21
60. many towns and communities DO demand such things
They're called taxes.

In Arizona, yeah red Arizona, fire districts (which are separate govermental bodies from "towns" or even "counties") are allowed to levy their own taxes. That provides funding to cover all properties, whether they are residential, commercial, owner-occupied or rented.

This case is not an instance of the fire department fucking over the poor; it is an instance of an entire community fucking over the poor. Had taxes been levied based on property values, rather than a flat per-property fee of $75, everyone would have had equal protection. Instead, the $75 fee would have been easily affordable by the rich, but well out of the reach of the poor.

The firefighters didn't make this decision; the rich did.



TG
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TheMadMonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 06:03 PM
Response to Reply #21
68. If it's the same place as last time. The county would not provide...
...a fire service at all and when it was put to the vote to have the $75 fee levied automatically, the voters of the county said "NO!".

It is a town nearby which provides the service, and the $75 fee charged does not even begin to meet their costs, but without it the people of that town would vote to pull the service entirely.
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scentopine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 07:54 AM
Response to Reply #11
30. Class warfare much? Bring it on. -nt
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 08:59 AM
Response to Reply #11
42. Watching someone's trailer burn down because they can't afford $75 sucks.
Edited on Thu Dec-08-11 08:59 AM by No Elephants
If that is the best a society can do, it's awful.
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Harmony Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 12:38 PM
Original message
I do not want to live in such a society
Absolutely terrible and dangerous.
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Harmony Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 12:38 PM
Response to Reply #42
57. Dp.
Edited on Thu Dec-08-11 12:39 PM by Harmony Blue
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LanternWaste Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 10:58 AM
Response to Reply #11
50. Some people see them as 'idiots', while others see them as 'poor'.
Some people see them as 'idiots', while others see them as 'poor'.

I imagine one guess is just as valid as the other, the only difference being how it illustrates those who do the labeling...
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Devil_Fish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 11:34 PM
Response to Reply #11
74. I agree with you. It's like car insurance. If you don't pay, you don't get covered.
If you drive with out insurance, and get into a crash, you can't call AAA and get coverage for that crash. You tried to save some money, and now your out a car. Same with these people. What did they think??? You know what is disturbing? it's disturbing that they are disturbed when they brought it on them selves. If they didn't want to pay the $75 yearly, they should have got their own fire fighting equipment. I'll tell you what is ashame, It's ashame that they fire fighters had to waste their gas, and time to watch the house burn down.

The only way that payment should be accepted on the spot would be if it were for the full cost of fighting the fire, not just the $75 fee.

I pay my insurance on my car. I pay my taxes, and if I lived out of the fire district, I would pay the $75 fee. If I didn't I sure as heck wouldn't expect the fire dept. to show up if my house caught fire.

When you play Russian Roulette, you can expect to get shot in the head one in six on average.

And yes I am on the correct message board, and no, I did not forget the sarc. tag. Thanks for asking.

D_F
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spooked911 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 06:02 AM
Response to Reply #8
18. that seems wrong and unnecessarily cruel-- this is just fucked up
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GOTV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 08:09 AM
Response to Reply #8
36. In this kind of system you can't except an on the spot fee or everyone would wait ...
... until they had a fire to pay their $75 and $75 is not enough to put out a house fire on it's own. The system depends on most people paying their $75 to subsidize the few houses that do catch fire.
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Lasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 12:29 PM
Response to Reply #36
56. Yes, that's true. The problem is this quasi-privatized system.
Edited on Thu Dec-08-11 12:29 PM by Lasher
Fire and rescue services need to be provided for all - even for our selfish idiots - paid for by mandatory taxes. This case is a symptom of the libertarian mania that has seems to be getting worse.

I have to suspect that this fire department has received has received some sort of state or federal funds somewhere along the line. Vehicles are sometimes acquired with matching funds, for example. If so, I'll bet this setup is illegal since such funds come from all taxpayers.
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msongs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 02:29 AM
Response to Original message
2. "gotten more out>? how bout paid their fair share for fire service. priorities I guess nt
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chrisau214 Donating Member (205 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 02:48 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. Better Yet
How about the friggin' fire department put out the damn fire and worry about the money later.

Or how about the fair share for fire service just be part of the overall tax package for the state and community.

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ProgressiveProfessor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 09:28 AM
Response to Reply #6
43. That locality has intentionally not included fire service on the tax bill
Its called Democracy, you might have heard of it.

The sorry reality is that if it was on the tax bill, with everyone paying, the amount would be lower
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Fair Witness Donating Member (41 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 03:28 PM
Response to Reply #6
66. Where are the limits of the community they should be morally obligated to serve?
If there's no clear line of demarcation, why not demand they make fire runs all the way to the next state?
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pezDispenser Donating Member (443 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 06:00 AM
Response to Reply #2
17. why live in a society
he's not heavy and all that. This lady lived in a trailer. $75 was probably hard to come by, but even if it wasn't this is wrong.
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jmowreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 09:46 PM
Response to Reply #17
72. You'd be surprised what trailers cost these days
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 02:41 AM
Response to Original message
3. See? This is why you can't have nice things. Or any things.
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Behind the Aegis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 02:45 AM
Response to Original message
5. A little bit of history repeating...
Some people choose not to learn from the mistakes of others.
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Lasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 03:01 AM
Response to Reply #5
9. If there is one thing I have learned from history, it is that we do not learn from it.
What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 06:57 AM
Response to Reply #5
22. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
JoDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 08:07 AM
Response to Reply #22
35. By "Final Solution"
do you mean asking all the residents of Judea, Samaria and Gaza to follow the law and stop trying to kill their fellow citizens? Because that is what the government of Israel is asking. If Israel really wanted the Trans Jordanians dead, they would be dead already. Simple as that.
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gtar100 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 02:55 AM
Response to Original message
7. How shameful and disgraceful.
Inhuman behavior. Cruel, callous, heartless, contemptible. They have lost their civility and sense of community. All for tax cuts.
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blkmusclmachine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 03:59 AM
Response to Reply #7
10. The Country's gone so crazy, so fast, it all had to have been planned for quite some time now:
Getting all the ducks lined up in a row. "Bipartisanship"/"triangulation," etc., with Clinton and Obama. I bet "The Powers That Be" have been working on it since long before 9/11. :nuke:
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cstanleytech Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 04:57 AM
Response to Original message
12. If this is what the republicans idea for a future of "smaller" government is I'll pass.
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SpiralHawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 05:53 AM
Response to Reply #12
15. It is indeed the Republion idea of the future
putting the fire out would have been socialism in their eyes
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Harmony Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 12:39 PM
Response to Reply #12
59. Agreed
They want to return to the Wild West.

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jmowreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 09:50 PM
Response to Reply #59
73. Think back farther
They want to return to the days of private Fire Societies--the organizations in the city of Philadelphia that you could contract with to have them come put out your house fire if you had one (and in the late 1600s and early 1700s when there were Fire Societies in Philadelphia, your house was more likely to catch fire than it is today)...but if you didn't subscribe to a Fire Society, they'd come out and watch your house burn down.

The abuses of the Fire Societies caused Benjamin Franklin to establish a city fire department, and to levy taxes to pay for it.

So...contrary to teabagger belief, at least some of our founding fathers believed in growing government when necessary and raising taxes to pay for it.
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spicegal Donating Member (617 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 05:01 AM
Response to Original message
13. There's something very wrong about this. Is this what
it's come to in this country?
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hobbit709 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 05:14 AM
Response to Original message
14. City fire department. county resident outside city limits.
Happens in a lot of places. Especially if the county won't fund any kind of emergency services.
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Sarah Ibarruri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 06:44 AM
Response to Original message
19. What sort of country is this, that a FEE must be paid to a fire department????
Is this the doing of the LET'S-HAVE-NO-GOVT shitheads?????????
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LynneSin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 07:27 AM
Response to Reply #19
26. This is what our country would be like if the Tea Party had their way
seriously!
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Sarah Ibarruri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 01:21 PM
Response to Reply #26
62. The world would SUCK TOTALLY if right wingnuts ran it. No doubt about it nt
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PavePusher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 07:53 AM
Response to Reply #19
29. Yes, you pay a fee. Inside the city limits, it's called "taxes".
Outside, in areas that do not pay taxes to the city, it's an annual subscription fee.

Or are you volunteering to pay for others?
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Sarah Ibarruri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 01:23 PM
Response to Reply #29
63. That's pretty damned horrible that fees are taken for putting out fires. That means that a POOR
PERSON has to pay the same as a rich person for putting out a fire.

Basically, in two words: IT SUCKS.
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Dreamer Tatum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 02:46 PM
Response to Reply #63
79. The cost of sending equipment to put out a poor person's house
is the same as the cost of sending the same to rich person's home.

Fail.
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Swede Atlanta Donating Member (906 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 06:54 AM
Response to Original message
20. Ridiculous but not surprising.....
Look, I am all for ensuring that those that consume services share in paying for them. The right wing characterize the left as wanting everything for free. That is not the case. I want everyone to contribute in a system that recognizes that the least among us are least able to contribute and still survive. I agree with the posts here that $75.00 may have been the money this woman had to feed herself and others for several weeks. Whoever created this system should have considered the fee on a needs-based basis.

But this is the same mentality that brings attendees at GOP presidential debates to clap when asked if someone without health insurance should be left to die but they don't want to mandate it.

They are the selfish, godless wonders that call themselves conservatives.
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suninvited Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 07:03 AM
Response to Original message
23. Chances are the people have no insurance, either
if the county does have that policy, they should also have a policy in place for people to fill out low income paperwork and have the fee waived.

This was probably a ruling passed by a city council full of members to whom writing a $75 check was no big deal.
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JJW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 07:11 AM
Response to Original message
24. In Amerika, if you don't have money, you're worthless
It would probably be more human to put a bullet in the back of people's heads who don't have enough money, than to have them treated as worthless and suffer from lack of food, housing, and medical care. It is all nonsense, pulling yourself up by your bootstraps while the banksters get bailed out with $ 16 trillion for being criminals, packaging worthless junk assets and selling them to their Ivy League buddies who manage what is now your worthless pensions, while the financial industry bribed public servants help setup tax free havens and sell your jobs overseas.
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stockholmer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 11:09 AM
Response to Reply #24
52. +10000
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Dreamer Tatum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 02:45 PM
Response to Reply #24
77. In "Amerika," people don't value their homes at more than $75.
Meanwhile they probably had $75 worth of junk food, booze, cigarettes, video games, and cell phones laying around.

They rolled the dice and lost.
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LynneSin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 07:27 AM
Response to Original message
25. I'm on the fence on this one
In one way the tea party has been screaming less taxes. Well taxes pay for fire services and if the Tea Party had their way the future of our fire departments would yearly subscription and those who can't afford will watch their homes burn to the ground.

But on the other hand I don't think Fire Fighters should watch a home burn. I think it's bullshit. Their policy change should be simple - if you do not pay the $75 and need our service you will be billed $XXXX amount to have our department put out your fire.

Thankfully I'm in the city so I don't have to worry about these things right now.
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Scout Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 07:58 AM
Response to Reply #25
32. ok, but if they can't afford the $75 fee, what makes you think they will pay
the $XXXX once they are billed for it? will the city have to sue them? and if they still can't get it, then what?
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LynneSin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 08:32 AM
Response to Reply #32
40. Like I said, I'm on the Fence
But then again if I don't have health insurance, the local emergency room will treat me and I'll probably be on debt collector speed dial the rest of my life. But at least I didn't die.

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Jim Lane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 01:09 PM
Response to Reply #25
61. I think your solution was already tried, and failed.
Edited on Thu Dec-08-11 01:12 PM by Jim Lane
You write: "Their policy change should be simple - if you do not pay the $75 and need our service you will be billed $XXXX amount to have our department put out your fire."

What I remember from the last such incident is that such a policy preceded the $75 fee. When the city fire department answered a call in the county (which had voted not to pay taxes to support a fire department), the city would send the homeowner a bill. The homeowner would often ignore it. Even if the homeowner could afford to pay it (by no means a given), the city had no authority to demand payment from someone outside its jurisdiction.

Making a sliding-scale fee, dependent on the value of the property, would be a huge administrative burden. The city government would have to check up on every property in the nearby county to make sure that the correct fee was being paid.

If I were in the city government, I'd be tempted to adopt a different solution: "We've voted to tax our residents and fund a fire department that serves all our residents. In the neighboring county, right-wing county commissioners have rejected this 'socialist' solution. They have no fire department. Out of the goodness of our hearts, we made our fire department's services available to county residents, but we refuse to tax our people to cover proper governmental expenses in a neighboring jurisdiction. Therefore, we make the service available only to those nonresidents who help us fund it by paying a fee. Because we keep getting bad publicity over this, however, we've changed our minds. From now on, the city fire department will put out fires in the city, for free, as it has been, but will not put out fires outside the city. The option for nonresidents to purchase our protective services for $75 is ended. If those people in the county want a fire department, let them establish one that's funded by their own tax dollars, not ours."

I don't know if I'd vote for that solution. I'd certainly feel sorry for my neighbors who live in a red county. But I couldn't in good conscience force my taxpayers to pony up to help all the victims of right-wing dogma everywhere.
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LynneSin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 02:30 PM
Response to Reply #61
65. I think you have some solid points that need to be addressed in this kind of system
I'm not a legal person but there are many ways to setup the payment so even those that are in poverty could be able to cover the fees.

But in reality a case like you saw with this example is just a small glimpse into what a society run by the Tea Party would look like. If you could afford healthcare you would not receive healthcare. If you didn't have insurance you would be left to die at the emergency room. If you could not afford the fees to pay for school, your children would not be educated.

Anyone who thinks the disparity between the rich vs. the poor is bad - it would get 10000 times worse with Tea Party controlling the government. And the true irony is that those who supported the Tea party - many of them would be those greatly impacted in the negative under this system.
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Jim Lane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 05:02 PM
Response to Reply #65
67. I agree with you about the Tea Party, of course.
The simplest way to set up the system properly is for the county to oust its right-wing commissioners and move into the twentieth century. I'm not asking for the twenty-first century, just the twentieth.

Most local governments are funded primarily through property taxes. That doesn't correlate perfectly with ability to pay -- an expensive house is taxed but an expensive collection of jewelry isn't. Still, it's a decent approximation. The county should simply increase its tax rate and use the money to handle the problem, either by setting up a county fire department or by contracting with the city for blanket coverage of all county residences in return for a single annual payment by the county to the city.

The irony you point out, about people not realizing how their Tea Party support hurts them, is only increased if the burden is put on the city to bail out the county. County taxes will be lower and the right-wing commissioners, boasting of their success at cutting taxes, will be re-elected. The occasional house fire (and, if it ever happens, the lethal house fire) will be blamed on the city, because it's the only government around that has firefighters, because it's the only government around that uses the socialist model of fire protection.

Let a few more houses burn down and maybe the Tea Party types will start losing commissionership elections. Of course, that's easy for me to say when it's not my house. My attitude can be criticized as heartless because, well, it is sort of heartless. There's just no good solution until the county's voters come to understand the point that you articulate.
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Cigar11 Donating Member (276 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 07:30 AM
Response to Original message
27. This is EXCATLY what youll have with Republican Leadership!


Every Man, Woman and Child for themselves ...

You can fight their Wars; but don't look for any respect.
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DaveJ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 07:55 AM
Response to Original message
31. I reluctantly checked a certain Repuke site that will remain nameless
And yes, indeed, there is nearly full support among them for letting the house burn. Including "if you have a problem with that you're a nanny stater."

This is what Republicans WANT! (I can't believe these sick perverts have their own political party.)
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Lars77 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 11:22 AM
Response to Reply #31
53. A lot of people on here love this idea too apparently.
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scentopine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 08:27 AM
Response to Original message
38. There is nothing to be on the fence about...
Edited on Thu Dec-08-11 08:31 AM by scentopine
This is what is called moral hazard. The poor pay a disproportionate share of their income in taxes via a variety of direct or indirect means in their lifetime. These taxes directly and indirectly pay for infrastructure, education, roads, water, technology etc that benefits the firefighters and their families; this in spite of the fact that the majority of our taxes are designed to benefit only rich people.

The fact is, that by creating a safe, stable and healthy environment for people, you create the foundation to grow the nation to be free and competitive. With out these safeguards the ruling class simply uses the threat of force via corporate agents to ensure civil compliance. This is called fascism and the USA is, in fact, a new fascist state.

This should be a debate about a black and white issue of functional civil service and government.

However, it does seem to be the common thinking among new democrats - the purity of the "free market" shall solve difficult social problems. It is OK to cancel the insurance policy of a cancer victim because of a paperwork oversight. Likewise it is OK to let a house burn or let someone die in a road accident because a fire because of a BS $75.

These remarks tells me just how the tea party, centrists and other right wingers are winning at class warfare against the non-rich and why the democratic party is a complete failure as an organization dedicated to serving and protecting citizens.

I won't argue the point further. So many democrats have moved so far right, they are here rationalizing and praising the "sensible and pragmatic" decision to let houses burn - and in the process destroying a lifetime.

It is only a matter of time before many of the so-called democrats show up with "burn-baby-burn" signs at the next house fire.

The silence on this issue is deafening. There needs to be an alternative to the democratic party for people to devote their time and donations in the best interests of the nation at large.

on edit - originally intended to be a response to specific comment, corrected to be general comment
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Freddie Stubbs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 10:27 AM
Response to Original message
47. This is what Democracy looks like
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scentopine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 06:58 PM
Response to Reply #47
71. This is what 3rd world living looks like -nt
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ieoeja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 10:55 AM
Response to Original message
49. My judgemental post.

Those county taxpayers who voted against paying the city for fire protection are evil. If they pay the fee to protect themselves, then they are even more evil for choosing to enact a system to protect themselves and not others.

Those county taxpayers who voted for fire protection and can not afford pay-to-play government services are horribly victimized.

The city government is cheap, lazy, stupid, evil or any combination of the preceeding for making fire protection a flat fee instead of basing it on property value which is what they probably do for city residents. I'm going with stupid. The guy this happened to a year ago was an arrogant shit-head, and there was no "he can't afford it" argument made at the time. I have to admit that I did not think about this situation at the time. And as a rule, politicians are not a very bright bunch**.

The firemen don't have any choice. The fire fighting equipment does not belong to them. And they are required to be on-duty when a fire threatens, so they can't even voluntarily do anything without that equipment at the time.


** Which makes the "s/he's so brilliant" make me want to spit up most times I read it on places like DU. Dudes! The #1 qualification for office is the ability to win popularity contests. The words "smart" and "popular" usually don't appear in a sentence together unless the word "not" is in the appropriate place.

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geomon666 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 12:39 PM
Response to Original message
58. Extortion. n/t
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Dreamer Tatum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 02:45 PM
Response to Reply #58
78. Nope. nt
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ileus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 02:12 PM
Response to Original message
64. gotta break a few eggs to make an omelette...
if they didn't make an example here and there no one would be paying their fire tax...
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Lionessa Donating Member (842 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 02:04 AM
Response to Original message
75. Well their republican constituents wanted government to work like private biz,
Edited on Fri Dec-09-11 02:04 AM by Lionessa
I guess they're getting what they want.

Absolutely great for the fire department here. It's high time these jerks (those that bitch because they want smaller govt and more privatized services) to feel what they're wishing for.

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