Goverment Greed

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Alpha Dog, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. Alpha Dog

    Alpha Dog survival of the breed

    Here is a case of goverment greed or someone who pissed off local goverment. How could any public protectors stand by and let this happen.

    Tennessee family home burns while firefighters watch

    <CITE class="byline vcard">

    TNhome. Vicky Bell's home after it was destroyed by a fire

    A Tennessee couple helplessly watched their home burn to the ground, along with all of their possessions, because they did not pay a $75 annual fee to the local fire department.
    Vicky Bell told the NBC affiliate WPSD-TV that she called 911 when her mobile home in Obion County caught fire. Firefighters arrived on the scene but as the fire raged, they simply stood by and did nothing. "In an emergency, the first thing you think of, 'Call 9-1-1," homeowner Bell said. However, Bell and her husband were forced to walk into the burning home in an attempt to retrieve their own belongings. "You could look out my mom's trailer and see the trucks sitting at a distance," Bell said. "We just wished we could've gotten more out."

    South Fulton Mayor David Crocker defended the fire department, saying that if firefighters responded to non-subscribers, no one would have an incentive to pay the fee. Residents in the city of South Fulton receive the service automatically, but it is not extended to those living in the greater county-wide area.
    "There's no way to go to every fire and keep up the manpower, the equipment, and just the funding for the fire department," Crocker said.
    The South Fulton policy produced precisely the same nightmare scenario last year, when homeowner Gene Cranick--who had likewise failed to pay the $75 annual fee for rural Obion County residents--saw his house engulfed by flames as South Fulton firefighter watched close by. That incident sparked a debate among conservative pundits over the limits of fee-for-service approaches to government.
    For his part, Mayor Crocker stressed that the city's firefighters will help people in danger, even those who haven't paid the fee. "After the last situation, I would hope that everybody would be well aware of the rural fire fees, this time," Crocker said.
  2. STANGF150

    STANGF150 Knowledge Seeker

    Cephus, scrapman21009 and Alpha Dog like this.
  3. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    I believe that i would put in my own firepump before i paid 75.00 in taxes...
    But then again we pay parish taxes for fire fighters...
    The rest of you guy's pay county taxes...Go figure...
  4. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    Ultimately, you get the government you deserve.

    Another dead horse rises from the ashes.....
    This is a real gut wrencher no doubt.
    I was once a volunteer rural county firefighter. Money, just to be able to continue to operate at a very very basic level was a constant struggle.
    Right or Wrong consider the following questions and statements before you judge too harshly.
    Do you have insurance? Any kind at all for any reason, and why?
    Do you believe in personal responsibility and accountability?
    Do you like being taxed on any level?
    Do you feel that some taxes may actually be neccessary because obviously there is no such thing as a free ride or a free lunch, and one way or another things have to be paid for because money doesn't mysteriously appear out of thin air or grow on trees.
    Hindsight is 20/20. If the family in question had it all to do over again, do you think they might consider that the $75 fire tax or whatever you want to call it, might be a good investment for the future.
    Do you believe that this particular family ever had taken the time to attend a county commision meeting and address their concerns about the fire tax and possible other means of generating funds county wide to cover everyone? (Ask the first 20 people you see today if they have ever been to a county commision meeting. ....... I think you will be hard pressed to muster more than 1 or 2) ..... (I did say the first 20. Not a honey picked selection)
    Do you believe that governments should coddle you with milk and sugar cookies from cradle to grave without any requirement on your part to earn those entitlements?
    Do you believe in smaller government, and would like the government to just leave you alone to do as you please as long as you are harming no one else?
    It is truly sad this family lost their home. I would hope things change for the better through community participation in government, for truly, YOU GET THE GOVERNMENT YOU DESERVE.
    larryinalabama likes this.
  5. Alpha Dog

    Alpha Dog survival of the breed

    I see it every day with the guy's on our county fire scraping to patch up equipment, doing Boot drives and anything else to raise money. I take my hat off to them all good guy's hard working and respond wheather 3am and a foot of snow or 95degree weather. The shock to me was I don't know any of the guys that would stand there and watch someone's house burn down over a $75.000 bill. They could have attempted to control the fire and save the house then sent the a bill for an hourly rate pertruck and per man. Plus the mayor acted like oh well tough break and for the rest of the citizen pay me or this could be you.
    STANGF150 and Cephus like this.
  6. limpingbear

    limpingbear future cancer survivor....

    i though that taxes payed for the fire department? where im at now, our county taxes pay for the fire department.
    why is it that some of the first buget items to get slashed are emergency services?
    STANGF150 likes this.
  7. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    Well that takes us back to your own involvement in your local county government. What do you actually know, and what do you assume? If you own property, your yearly statement for property taxes should show a breakdown on some or all of how your payment is broken up. In lieu of that, county records such as BOCC (board of county commisioners) meetings are public record. Mine are published online. Many are, yours might be. Look it up. They vote on the budget and cut up that pie right there in public records. Get involved, don't assume, ...... KNOW !!!
  8. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    I'm with you on this one

    I have seen this happen several times in rural areas of Utah and Wa state.

    IT is a fee-for-service arrangement. It is not a gov't function, county or otherwise. Most fire companies operate as a tax-free organization.

    There is NO free lunch. Period.

    The very first 'professional' fire company were paid in this fashion - and you can still see the plaques mounted on the building indicating they had fire protection.
    So - this is nothing new - fire companies have been standing around watching buildings burn down since 1678.
    BTPost likes this.
  9. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    I guess I don't see the "greed" component. The fact that the dept showed up at all indicates to me that there is or was concern for life, not property. Nothing tells me that there was intent to make a point at all, tho' indeed it did. Those folks simply bet the house against a 75 frn payment and ignored the lesson taught by the earlier incident.

    Sympathy for the loss? Sure, tempered by knowing they gambled.
  10. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Retired Curmudgeonly IT Monkey Founding Member

    I am forced to pay the County some $43 extra every quarter for a "Fire Services Fee" (an illicit tax) knowing full well that if my home catches fire, it will be a smoking frame by the time the FD gets there. I have NO choice - pay the tax or it gets lumped onto my Property Tax.
    There was no referendum, the citizens never knew it was coming til we got the bill. I am not ammused. Each time I pay it the 'memo' line of my check reads, "For illegal tax". Yeah, fat lot of good that does, but it lets them know I dislike being subjected to highway robbery.
    I would have no problem with paying it had a majority of county citizens VOTED on it, and if I knew it would benefit me. Neither is true.
  11. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    I take your point well enough. The question then becomes is dot gov simply collecting a fee set by the FD, or is it a tax used to support a dot gov FD agency? If it is dot gov, then your elected officials set the budget and the tax proportion. If the fire co is independent, it sets it's own fees and MAY enlist the dot gov to collect them (like here.)
  12. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    An issues that hasn't been discussed is the fact that many of these VFD's recieve state, county and federal funds to halp with large purchases of equipment, or actually recieve retirement for their service (NC did until it dicountinued it and grandfathered existing fire fighters)...

    If they do recieve any of these funds from other tax paid funds then a poetential for a law suit exists against the VFD and the municipality...
  13. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    I also live in the sunny state of florida. I find it a little hard to accept and believe everything in your statement above. First off check out what your county government can and cannot do. Do you vote in local elections. Do you go to BOCC (board of county commissioners) meetings. Do you know when they are scheduled. Their minutes are public access knowledge in this state. My county puts them on the internet fairly quickly. We live in a Republic, not a Democracy. You get to vote on some thing, others you don't. You are supposed to elect county commissioners you trust to do what you would consider right. If they fail to do so, you do your best to get them replaced at the next election with someone who you feel will do your bidding, or you yourself run for office. What county do you live in? I would be happy to see what I could find. Such as; commission meeting dates, records of minutes, commisioners names and phone numbers, etc etc. Back to my earlier statement. You get the government you deserve!
  14. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Retired Curmudgeonly IT Monkey Founding Member

    I do vote locally, WHEN it's on the ballot, or a referendum. THIS was not. The excuse was to pay for one more FD employee and some equipment. Leon County is the home of the most corrupt city and county government in Florida. I delayed paying this usurious TAX the first time I got the notice. I was threatened with an increase in my property tax.
    This is real, and IS happening as we speak. It is County greed, pure and simple. The closest fire station to me is more than eight miles away. Just how fast can a Doublewide burn....? I hope I never find out. The FD will be NO help.
  15. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama Monkey++

    Fire depts actually lower our property insurance. Rural areas tend to have all sorts of different arrangements, in my area its voilnteer, in hope of landing a gravy FD job in the city.
  16. Alpha Dog

    Alpha Dog survival of the breed

    I don't know thats like saying ok you are behind in your county taxes and I understand that a murder is breaking in your house but you didn't pay your county taxes so you don't get Sheriff Dept Law Enforcment. There comes a point when you just have to do the job a seek other forms of collection. As Emergancy Responders in my state they are bound by law to react. I meen this isn't like not paying a water bill and your service being turned off. I don't know but what if these people just didn't have the money to pay. I know atlest 30 people in my county that are older people and just cant pay their tax and my Sheriff just over looks them and we could take and sell their home and property. Set them in the street maybe Im looking at it wrong
  17. fedorthedog

    fedorthedog Monkey+++

    I had to petition to get into a fire district when I bought my house as I had no tax funded fire service. The local's would have responded and billed a couple thousand dollars for the response. I got into the district and ended up joining the department. All volunteer with a tax payer funded budget of about $34,000.00 a year. So I can see why those who are given a choice and choose not to pay dont get service. Dont go to McDonalds and expect to get fed because the other guy paid. They at least showed up to make sure life was not in danger.
  18. Alpha Dog

    Alpha Dog survival of the breed

    True all of our stuff is in our county property tax. I only complain about our 911 tax we get double popped they bill us on our phone billl and in our property tax.
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