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Posted on: May 21, 2021

Paramedics, Property Taxes and Kaysville

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Paramedics - Property Taxes - and Kaysville

On December 31, 2022, the Davis County Sheriff's Office will turn responsibility for paramedic services over to Davis County cities, including Kaysville.  This will result in a property tax increase. The following are answers to common questions and explanations on why this is happening and how everyone will benefit from the new city model.

Doesn’t Kaysville Fire already have paramedics? Who is driving the ambulances?

Kaysville Fire currently provides emergency medical care at the Advanced-EMT level. Advanced-EMTs are well trained but they are limited in the level of care that they can provide (this level of care is referred to as “Basic Life Support” care). A paramedic can provide “Advanced Life Support” care, which includes administering advanced medications, managing difficult airway problems and interpreting cardiac rhythms. Paramedics receive hundreds of hours of training at the college level. To operate a paramedic service, Kaysville Fire will have to obtain paramedic licensure from the State of Utah. 

Right now Kaysville Fire sends an ambulance and a fire engine to all Basic Life Support medical calls; when the call is dispatched as an Advanced Life Support medical call, paramedics from the Davis County Sheriff’s Office are also dispatched with the fire department.

Has it always been this way?

The county has provided paramedics since 1976. Back then, they controlled the ambulances, too. As the county has developed, cities needed these services closer to home to ensure faster  response times. 

In 2002, the county discontinued ambulance services and local jurisdictions started their own, operated by lower-level EMTs. But the county continued providing the higher-level paramedics and do so today.

Now, almost 20 years later, should paramedics be closer to home?

Yes. The county has done a great job with this service. At the same time, the sheriff’s office and Kaysville Fire agree we should choose the model that provides the highest level of service for our changing community. Leaders of all Davis County cities have come together over the past two years to address logistics and make this decision. 

At least 90 percent of the time, paramedics should be arriving on scene in six minutes or less from when they were dispatched. Davis County’s growth is making this standard increasingly difficult to meet.

How often do Kaysville residents need paramedics?

The number of medical calls Kaysville Fire receives has increased each year for the past five years, with 1,081 calls in 2020. On average, our EMTs require backup from county paramedics on 46% of those calls.

What will Kaysville Fire need to start its own service?

The new fire department based paramedic service will require that Kaysville Fire have two paramedics on duty 24/7. These positions will be new positions in addition to the firefighter staff who are already employed by the city. Additionally, a paramedic “rescue” vehicle and emergency medical equipment will need to be purchased. The largest expense of providing this service will be the ongoing annual cost of employing the paramedic personnel. Taking on the paramedic service will cost Kaysville approximately $600,000 each year. 

But under this new model, Davis County will also be lowering the tax they have set aside for paramedics. This will save Kaysville residents around $300K in taxes each year and will serve as an offset to the tax increase coming from Kaysville City. So, under the new model: 

  • The *Davis County Paramedic* line will be removed from annual taxes which is a tax decrease of about $300,000 for the residents in our City.
  • The *Kaysville City* line will be increased to pay for our new program.
  • The net tax increase or net tax burden that will remain for Kaysville City residents will be approximately $300,000.

What about the fees paramedics collect from patients who are transported to the hospital?

Less than 50% of fees assessed for ambulance and paramedic services are actually collected; this is consistent with most of the state. In addition, we have been reimbursing about $35,000 a year to the county for their portion of those transport fees. Under the new model, that money will stay in our city.

What does this mean for you?

For a $400,000 home the tax decrease coming from Davis County will be $21.42 and the tax increase coming from Kaysville City will be $47.14 for a net tax increase of $25.72. While these numbers are estimates and true costs won’t be known until purchases are made, individuals are hired, and tax rates are certified, Kaysville City Fire believes these numbers are sufficient to supply this service. One can see that for the cost of a pizza or a couple of soda runs, we can make a vital investment in public safety in our city.

Are all cities in the same boat?

All Davis County cities will be assuming the paramedic services from Davis County themselves or will be contracting with another agency to meet this need. The exception to this is Layton and the five cities covered by the South Davis Metro Fire District who already have their own paramedics. 

Under the new model, neighboring cities will help one another. North Davis can respond in Clinton if the Clinton paramedics are tied up. Layton can respond in Kaysville if Kaysville is tied up. Dispatchers will send the closest available responders. 

An administrative board, made up of representatives from each city, will monitor these mutual aid arrangements. Everyone will benefit from the substantial increase in the number of paramedics available across the county and from a decrease in response times.

What is the timeline for the tax increase?

Kaysville City will hold a Q&A session as well as a public hearing on August 12, 2021 to discuss this exciting opportunity, address questions, and hear from city residents. This meeting will be noticed in newsletters, social media sites, websites, and even in the newspaper to reach as many city taxpayers as possible.  

What is Kaysville City and Kaysville Fire’s promise to you?

Kaysville City Council and Kaysville Fire will answer all your questions with transparency. We want everyone to understand the plan long before the tax increase takes place. We will strive for excellence in the training and education of our fire/paramedic teams. We will maintain a constant state of readiness. We will hold ourselves to the highest levels of conduct and performance in meeting this core city need.

YOU WON’T REGRET YOUR INVESTMENT IN PUBLIC SAFETY  

Please reach out to Kaysville City Fire Chief Paul Erickson with any questions: (801) 544-2860 or perickson@kaysvillecity.com.

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