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Renton Regional Fire Authority

Proposition No. 1
Continuation of Benefit Charge

Shall Renton Regional Fire Authority be authorized to continue voter-authorized benefit charges each year for ten consecutive years beginning in 2023, not to exceed an amount equal to sixty percent of its operating budget, and be prohibited from imposing an additional property tax under RCW 52.26.140(1)(c)?




Renton Regional Fire Authority provides emergency medical and fire protection services to the areas within the RFA. The Governing Board is requesting that voters approve the continuation of the existing benefit charge initially approved by the voters in 2016.


A benefit charge is not a property tax but is a user fee designed to allocate the cost of the services provided by the RFA in reasonable proportion to the measurable benefit a property receives. The benefit charge is based on a standard industry accepted formula that takes into consideration fire flows, structure square footage and the type of structure and risk factors. If the benefit charge is approved the RFA’s statutory tax authority is reduced by $.50 per thousand of assessed valuation.


The Governing Board has determined that a benefit charge, established in conjunction with a lower level of property taxes, provides the fairest, most stable, reliable and cost effective method for financing the operations of the RFA and maintaining  satisfactory levels of service.


The proposition requests voters to authorize the continuation of the benefit charge to be collected for an additional ten years from 2023 through 2032. Prior to establishing the benefit charge each year, the Governing Board will hold a public hearing and each year property owners will have the right to petition for adjustments in the amount of the benefit charge.

We request voters approve the continuation of the Renton Regional Fire Authority (RFA) Fire Benefit Charge (FBC).


The RFA was approved by voters back in April 2016 and started operations on July 1st, 2016, when the Renton Fire Department joined with King County District 25.


The FBC is one of only two sources that fund fire and emergency medical services provided by the RFA to our over 135,000 residents and businesses in our 33.3 square mile service area.  The FBC accounts for 40% of the budget for the RFA, including costs for training, equipping and paying firefighters as well as maintaining and replacing all fire trucks, other apparatus and fire stations.  Renewal of this fee will make it possible for the RFA to continue to maintain critical service levels and innovative programs developed over the last 5 years, including the FD Cares and Public Education programs, for another 10 years. 

The FBC provides an equitable, stable and reliable method for funding operations, even in times of uncertainty, and distributes costs of service based on the size and characteristics of the structures on property.  The FBC applies to structures 400 feet or larger, including each level of a building, basements (finished/unfinished), mezzanines and garages.  Factors helping to determine the amount each taxpayer contributes are based on required firefighting resources, sizes and hazards associated with the structure(s).  Discounts are provided for buildings with sprinkler systems and exemptions for religious schools, churches and nonprofit housing.


We appreciate our communities’ continued support of Renton Regional Fire Authority and ask for your vote in favor of this measure on the ballot.

Submitted by: Diane Dobson, Jason Parker,

Statements in favor of and in opposition to a ballot measure are submitted by committees appointed by the jurisdiction. No persons came forward to serve on the committee and to write a statement in opposition. If you would like to be involved with a committee in the future please contact the jurisdiction.

Simple majority (RCW 52.26.220)

For questions about this measure, contact: Steven C. Heitman, Fire Chief, (425) 276-9501,

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