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Writ Filed To Seek Correction To ERAF Problem

Our status as an independent district has allowed us finally to move forward on our largest strategic initiative, our effort to reduce the disproportionate ERAF (Educational Revenue Augmentation Fund) rate that drains almost $1M per year from our fire-designated tax dollars. Our district currently contributes the highest percentage of ERAF in all of Sonoma County at 47.2%, with the next highest being Windsor at only 17%. This disparity has long been a bone of contention between us and the County with efforts to address it for more than a decade falling on deaf ears.

In the fall of 2016, after numerous attempts at negotiations with the county, we finally filed a "Request for Public Records" that produced more than 7,000 pages of documents, many of which had never been shared with us. We again attempted a "good faith" negotiation with the county which resulted in the same opinion (and attitude) that has forced us to pursue our only other option we had hoped to avoid. On January 11, 2017 we filed suit (Writ of Mandamus) in the State of California Superior Court-Sonoma County, to force the discussion with the county, and our day in court will hopefully have a judge agree that this disparity cannot stand. Our expert counsel, William Ross, is confident the  calculations applied to us many years ago are inconsistent with state law, and this court case will hopefully produce a new ERAF rate that could potentially save the district at least $500k per year!  The NSCFPD board felt strongly that the investment in the legal action was a must-do if we are to provide the long term financial sustainability our community needs and deserves.  The venue for the suit was moved to Sacramento County.  The court hearing on the Writ occurred in May of 2019.  Eventually the judge ruled against NSCFPD.  An appeal is in progress.

Chief's Corner

  • Chief's Message

    Fire season is here!  Are you prepared for a long power outage? The potential for PG&E Public Safety Power Shut-off (PSPS) events is increasing as we go through the summer. Please prepare yourself...

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Residential burning is banned as of June 15, 2020. NSCFPD is in the Northern Sonoma County Air Pollution Control District (NSCAPCD). You can find your air quality district here. See here for residential debris burn permit information from CAL FIRE.

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