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South King Fire & Rescue
Proposition No. 1
Tax Levy for Maintenance and Operations

The Board of Commissioners of South King Fire & Rescue (King County Fire Protection District No. 39) passed Resolution No. 484 concerning a proposition to finance fire services and emergency medical services. This proposition would authorize the District to levy an excess property tax on all taxable property within the District beginning with collection in 2013 and continuing for three years thereafter to be used for maintenance and operations to maintain and increase the current level of fire services and emergency medical services. The levy amount for each of the four years would be $3,500,000 collected each year at approximate rate of $0.29 per $1,000 of assessed value. Should this proposition be approved?



South King Fire and Rescue, serving the citizens of Greater Federal Way and Des Moines, is placing an excess levy proposition on the August 7th, 2012 ballot. This proposition will authorize the fire district to collect $3.5 million annually, at an approximate rate of $0.29 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, for a four year period covering 2013 through 2016. The proposition is presented to allow voters the opportunity to maintain current fire department services and personnel. In addition, it will allow the district to re-staff an aid car for emergency responses, which has been closed due to decreased revenues the past few years.


The fire district has lost over 22% of its annual revenue since 2009 due to the nationwide recession and loss of property values, necessitating cutbacks in service levels and personnel, including elimination of public education programs, closure of one aid car and reducing another to part-time status, the layoff of four employees, and a total of 23 departmental vacancies including thirteen firefighters whose positions have been eliminated through attrition.


Approval of this proposition would allow the department to maintain the current level of services.  Rejection of this proposition would lead to additional reductions in service levels, the layoff of additional fire department personnel including the possible layoff of firefighters, potential elimination of special services such as rescue teams, and similar cutbacks.

South King Fire & Rescue continues to offer higher quality fire and emergency services at a lower cost to taxpayers than surrounding communities.  However, those services are threatened. In order to maintain our service, please VOTE YES for SKF&R’s maintenance and operations levy. 


Our fire district has lost over 22% of our annual revenue since 2009 as property values have declined. This reduction has necessitated major cutbacks in service levels and personnel, longer emergency response times, and 23 departmental vacancies including front line firefighters. Those who remain have taken voluntary cuts in pay and benefits.


This levy maintains current fire department services and personnel, only costs the average homeowner of a $200,000 home less than $5 per month, and restores an emergency aid unit to improve response times. Failure will ultimately lead to more cuts in vital services.  


Our department runs a lean operation without sacrificing public safety. With the passing of this levy, our department’s tax rate will remain lower than most neighboring jurisdictions.


This levy requires a 60% super-majority to pass. Please join the 59% of our community who already voted in favor of this levy.


WE NEED YOUR HELP!!! Vote YES in SUPPORT of our community’s safety!

Does the district need additional funding provided by this Excess Levy? Yes.


For the third time is as many years, the district is asking for more money, hoping that increases in voter approval will surpass voter fatigue of repeated ballot measures.


This Excess Levy covers the bare minimum, increasing firefighter numbers while training and district buildings continue to suffer.


Elections cost almost $150,000 tax dollars. Has the administration shown enough leadership and financial responsibility? Remember, the district likely will be back again in each of the next three years asking for more money.


They had no public vote for the $4.7 million training center property, costing $230,000 per year (interest only) with nothing paying the principal and no funds for construction. And even though the bond was refinanced, the general public hears no district discussion since 2009 of the proposed $65 million training/administration/maintenance facility. 


Have you seen enough positive changes to pass an Excess Levy?


Possibly, yet our firefighters have repeatedly suffered wage freezes while some commissioners continue demanding pay for non-essential mileage and meals. 


Have they sacrificed enough for you to vote increasing your taxes?


Does the district warrant passage of an Excess Levy?

The Con Committee questions whether additional funding for the district is necessary.


The funding from this levy helps ensure that your fire department has the resources necessary to protect the public. Like everyone else in this recession the department has made sacrifices; they have reduced positions, given back raises, delayed equipment purchases and eliminated programs.


The district can sacrifice no further without seriously jeopardizing public safety.


Vote YES for our community safety! YOUR VOTE MATTERS!


Statement submitted by: Wayne Corey, Jon McIntosh, and Danny Peterson

Vote for Accountable governance.


Sacrifices by our firefighters are to be lauded. 


Will the actions of two elected officials jeopardize levy passage?


Failing Walk-the-Talk restraint during budget crisis, taking no pay cuts for nonessential meals-and-wheels expenses, some on your governing body say one thing but do another.


We agree. Services are threatened. By me-first attitudes of a few.


If this levy fails, look to these two “lean operation” commissioners for accountability.


Statement submitted by: Jerry Galland and Chuck Brezina

60% yes vote and a minimum turnout of 13,073 (Washington Constitution, article VII, section 2 (b))

1252 en-US Production

TTY: Relay 711

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