Hanford · Politics

Kings Co. firefighter tax measure attracts opposition ahead of primary election

A sales tax measure in Kings County that would benefit the fire department is facing newfound opposition.

Measure F, titled The Kings County Fire and Emergency Services Initiative, would establish a half-cent sales tax increase that would create a fund that would be used for the Kings County Fire Department.

Tax proceeds would be deposited into a newly-established Kings County Fire and Emergency Services Fund and be utilized in the following ways:

  • 60 percent for personnel
  • 20 percent for infrastructure
  • 20 percent for equipment needs

There is not a sunset clause included in the tax, meaning the half-cent tax increase would be in effect in perpetuity.

The Kings County Firefighters Union, Local 3747 sponsored the resolution. 

On Tuesday, however, the Hanford City Council had an item on the agenda to officially oppose Measure F.

In the staff report, the city notes that consumers in Hanford would be paying nearly $9 million in additional sales tax, but no Hanford entities – such as the Hanford Police Department – would benefit.

The resolution notes that the Hanford Police Department and the Hanford Fire Department both oppose the initiative.

The city estimates that within the first year of the life of the tax, sales within the City of Hanford alone would provide revenue for the county fire department that would equal nearly one-third of the total general fund of Hanford. 

Tax revenues are also estimated to be over $2 million more than the Hanford Fire Department’s budget. 

Per the city’s staff report, the Kings County Fire Department responds to calls in Hanford around 250 times per year. 

If Measure F is approved, the city estimates that the fire department’s responses would equate to around $36,000 per call in projected tax revenue.

Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at daniel.gligich@sjvsun.com.