Grand County EMS FAQs
How would a potential 1.75 mill increase impact me as a homeowner?
The proposed mill levy increase depends on your home value. A $500,000 home would be taxed an additional $62 each year ($5 per month if you have an escrow account on your mortgage).
Use our property tax calculator to see exactly what it would cost based on your home.
How was 1.75 mills decided upon as a potential property tax increase?
The Grand County Commissioners asked Grand County EMS to develop a budget to pay for the needed staffing, buildings and vehicles to serve the county safely, efficiently and effectively. This budget is available on our website
Raising the local property tax mill levy by 1.75 mills would provide about $1.65 million* annually to serve the needs of Grand County for at least the next seven years.
*This figure was updated from $1.54 million in August 2021 based on recent estimated assessed valuation of property calculated by the Assessor's Office and presented to the Board of County Commissioners this summer.
Where can I find a detailed account of exactly how the tax revenues produced by the 1.75 mills would be spent?
The estimated $1.65 million annually collected by the 1.75 mills would be spent on staffing, buildings and vehicles needed to serve Grand County safely, efficiently and effectively. The budget details can be found here.
Could the tax revenues produced by the 1.75 mills be transferred into the county’s general fund?
No, all of these tax revenues must be used 100% for EMS.
How does the current property tax rate for Grand County EMS compare to similar services in other areas?
At 2 mills, Grand County is the lowest we have found in the state for emergency medical services. If it is increased by 1.75 mills it would put us at about the average.
Why does EMS need more when they are driving around in new ambulances?
We have an aging fleet with reliability issues. Because Grand County EMS did not have funding to buy completely new ambulances, the County leased the payment for remounts -- which is refurbishing the patient boxes and buying new base frames (chassis) which saves $100,000 per ambulance. However, this is a short-term fix. We still need to replace our oldest vehicles and purchase additional ones to meet increasing demand.
What happens if we don’t increase property taxes by 1.75 mills?
We are currently faced with major capital, equipment, and staffing expenditures that are beyond our revenue projections. And Grand County EMS does not have a cash reserve to rely on for these costs. Below is a list of some of our immediate needs:
If we don’t rebuild or replace our two oldest buildings, one or both could become unsafe and potentially too dangerous for our paramedics and EMTs to work inside.
If we can’t replace our aging emergency vehicles, our ability to respond quickly and safely to emergencies may be impacted.
If we’re unable to retain our trained and qualified staff, this will create even greater pressure on the budget due to increased hiring and training costs - and lead to fewer experienced EMTs and paramedics in Grand County.
How is Grand County EMS funded?
More than half (54%) of our budget is funded through the fees we charge patients who need our services, while the remainder is funded through property taxes and small grants. For 2021 we project billing for services at $1.9 million and property tax collection at $1.6 million.
How would increasing the budget allow Grand County EMS to pursue more federal grants?
The vast majority of emergency services grants offered at the local, state and federal level require a local match of between 30% and 50% (most are at the higher end). Increasing the budget allows us to stretch our dollars further by pursuing more grants which are used to purchase items such as heart monitors, radios, and other medical equipment. We currently miss out on hundreds of thousands of potential grants because we do not have sufficient funds to provide a local match.
What is the financial track record for Grand County EMS?
According to a third party financial analysis and report conducted in 2018, “...billing practices are sound, collection rate is outstanding, and level of fiscal accountability is excellent. The current governance model offers representation for all areas of the county and the fiscal structures are transparent and accountable to the constituents.”
When was the last time the property tax mill levy was raised for Grand County EMS?
The mill levy has never been raised since it was first established at 2 mills in 2003.
How much will it cost to rebuild the two stations in need of rehabilitation?
Station 1 in Granby, built in 1953, is estimated to cost $5.5 million at today’s prices.
Station 2 in Fraser, built in 1940, is estimated to cost $1.5 million at today’s prices.
How did you come up with the cost for the two oldest stations that need to be updated or rebuilt?
The figure is based on the cost of construction for these types of facilities in today's market multiplied by the number of square feet needed for each of the buildings.
What type of calls do you respond to?
We respond to health and medical emergencies across the entire county whether at a residence or in the backcountry, wildfire situations, or search and rescue operations, wherever we’re needed.
What type of support do you provide for wildfires?
We assist in home evacuations as well as in medical and health emergencies. In 2020 we were deployed more than 80 days in the field for wildfires.
How much use do the emergency vehicles receive?
Our pre-COVID average annual total miles traveled on our fleet is 238,259. That’s the equivalent of 64 round trips from here to New York!
How does Grand County EMS work with other emergency response services?
We work closely with all police and fire departments in the county to provide all medical and health safety support including deployment for search and rescue operations.
What impact did COVID have on Grand County EMS?
We saw an unprecedented drop in emergency calls in 2020, which also decreased our income for the year, however all indications for 2021 demonstrate that we’ll see increased call volumes and we are on track to see 10% annual growth in demand once again.
Is the lack of funding for EMS unique to Grand County?
No, as this recent article illustrates, the dire financial situation is not unique to Grand County but is common in rural counties statewide.