King County logo
Proposed Kent Fire Department Regional Fire Authority

Proposition No. 1

The City of Kent and King County Fire Protection District No. 37 have adopted a Joint Resolution approving the Kent Fire Department Regional Fire Authority Plan (“Plan”) to create the Kent Fire Department Regional Fire Authority (“Authority”) with an effective date of July 1, 2010.

If approved, this proposition would create the Authority, in accordance with the Plan, to provide fire protection and emergency medical services in the City and the District. The Authority will be funded by a six-year fire benefit charge (not to exceed 60% of the operating budget) and a property tax (not to exceed $1.00 per $1,000 of assessed value). This funding would replace the District’s existing property tax rate of $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed value, and would reduce Kent’s property tax capacity by the tax rate collected by the Authority.

Should the Plan to create a Regional Fire Protection Service Authority be approved?



If voters approve Proposition 1, the Kent Fire Department and King County Fire District 37 will merge into one organization, the Kent Regional Fire Authority “RFA” effective July 1, 2010. The RFA will operate under a single governing board with a uniform and stable funding mechanism to maintain and improve fire protection and emergency medical services in Kent, Covington and Fire District 37.

The governing board will consist of three elected Kent City Council members and three elected commissioners of Fire District 37 who also represent the citizens of Covington.

The RFA will be funded by a fire benefit charge and a property tax. The fire benefit charge allocates the cost of the services provided by the RFA in reasonable proportion to the measureable benefit a property receives. The benefit charge will be based on a standard formula that considers the square footage and use of buildings, fire flows and allows for adjustments for sprinklers and senior citizen discounts. A property tax of $1.00 per thousand of assessed valuation will provide the additional required funding. These funding sources will replace Fire District 37’s current property tax rate of $1.50 per thousand and will reduce the City of Kent’s property tax capacity by up to $1.00 per thousand.

The Kent City Council and the Fire District 37 Board determined that the RFA will allow the entities to consolidate resources and more efficiently deliver fire protection and emergency medical services to the citizens of Kent, Covington and Fire District 37.

Voting YES on Ballot Proposition #1 will be a vote for every taxpayers dream: a fair, efficient and equitable way to provide sustainable fire and emergency medical services. Combining the existing partnership of the Kent Fire Department and Fire District 37 into a single operating entity, a Regional Fire Authority (RFA), creates permanent savings. Transforming two governmental systems into a single one, coupled with a Citizen’s Advisory Committee, is a simpler system that will be responsive and accountable to residents and business owners.

The RFA concept is already well-proven, having been created in the Auburn and Federal Way areas. It will reduce unequal property taxes and make up the difference with a Benefit Charge that is absolutely fair to all users. Businesses were part of the planning process and, even though they may pay a higher rate under the RFA, understand that it makes sense and support it. Other governmental organizations, currently exempt, will now pay their fair share as well!

Saving lives, homes and businesses is not something to take for granted. We have trusted our Fire Department in the past. Vote YES for the future and support the service that might save YOUR life or home some day!


The RFA is an independent taxing authority designed to bypass current property tax levy limits and substantially increase taxes with the Fire Benefit Charges (Fees). Even in a bad economy.

The Fire Benefit Charge is an adjustable rate fee as opposed to the current fixed tax rate.

Increasing fees (Fire Benefit Charges) on businesses in a bad economy is not good thinking. Citizens will ultimately pay increased business costs in the form of higher prices and lost jobs.

The new fees will also be charged to government facilities (ShoWare Center and Regional Justice Center) and 1,628 certain tax exempt buildings.

Fees are not tax deductible.

Apartment buildings will be charged higher fees and rents will go up. Homeowners who vote yes are signing a blank check for six years. A potential 57% increase in the Fire Benefit Charge could be imposed by a simple majority vote (4 of 6 fire commissioners).

It’s time for the fire fighters, administrators, fire commissioners’, cities and chiefs to do the right thing and reduce costs.

The citizens will be the ones who bear the burden of the RFA taxes.


 Why should business have a free ride on the backs of homeowners? Businesses will pay more under the RFA. They support it because they know our Fire Department needs help.

Vote yes and homeowners likely will pay less in overall cost in 2011 than was paid in 2009 and get lower insurance costs to boot! Pay only your fair share and quit supporting other high cost users like apartments and industries handling toxic materials!

Statement submitted by: Wayne Snoey

Citizens of Kent and District 37 will give away (no compensation) physical ownership and control of their fire stations and equipment to the Regional Fire Authority.

The RFA will take those assets and provide the same service at much higher cost to the communities.

The RFA is designed to generate huge amounts of fees and taxes, not efficiencies!

VOTE NO! This is your only chance to stop a very complicated tax increase strategy.

Statement submitted by: Leroy Stevenson   253-630-7676

60% approval (RCW 52.26.050)

1234 en-US Production

TTY: Relay 711

Sign up for email or text notifications