Federal Judge Rules In Favor of Hyannis Fire District In Tax Law Challenge

Hyannis Fire Station.

Hyannis Fire Station.

HYANNIS – The Hyannis Fire District will remain exempt from Proposition 2 1/2, after a federal judge ruled in favor of the district in a legal challenge by two residents.

John Julius and Patricia Richards had filed a suit arguing that the district should fall under the same restrictions as cities and towns when it comes to raising taxes–that is, restricted to raising taxes by 2.5 percent unless voters approve a larger increase. That suit was filed as the district was mounting an unsuccessful campaign for a new fire station costing upwards of $20 million.

“I expected this outcome, because all along we have known we’ve been in compliance with the law,” said Hyannis Fire Chief Harold Brunelle.

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But the legal challenges have been costly.

“We’ve had a number of these legal things being brought up by a couple of citizens, and it does get expensive,” Brunelle said

Chief Brunelle said he did not know how much the district has spent on legal defense.