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East Pierce Fire & Rescue

Proposition No. 1
Property Tax Levy for Maintenance and Operation Expenses

The Board of Fire Commissioners of East Pierce Fire & Rescue (formerly Pierce County Fire Protection District No. 22) adopted Resolution No. 752 concerning a proposition to finance maintenance and operation expenses.  If approved, Proposition No. 1 will authorize the District to levy, without regard to the dollar rate and percentage limitations imposed by Ch. 84.52 RCW, a property tax upon all taxable property within the District of:

Levy Year

Collection Year

Approximate Levy Rate
Per $1,000 of Assessed Value

Levy Amount


















to be used for maintenance and operations and to maintain the current level of fire and emergency medical services, all as provided in Resolution No. 752.  Should Proposition No. 1 be approved?



Impacted by reductions of 25% of assessed value over the last five years, East Pierce Fire and Rescue has placed a maintenance and operations levy on the August 2014 ballot. This proposition authorizes the fire district to collect $4.7 million to $4.9 million annually, at an approximate rate of $0.53 to $0.48 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, for a four year period--2015-2018. The proposition allows voters the opportunity to maintain fire department services, personnel and reserves at current levels and to hire additional firefighters to meet increased demands for emergency responses.

The fire district experienced a shortfall of $10 million or about $2.5 million each year from 2010 through 2013 due to the nationwide recession, necessitating cutbacks in expenditures, without significant service level cuts. Since 2009, the department has reduced overtime, capital expenditures, and prevention, together with over $300,000 in cuts to maintenance, education, and training. There have been no purchases of new apparatus. Personnel have taken wage cuts or furloughs. Positions have been left vacant. Funding is needed to maintain or replace aging fire engines and medic units.

Approval of this proposition maintains the current level of services; rejection would lead to further reductions in service levels.

For questions about this measure, contact: Jerry E. Thorson, Fire Chief 253-863-1800

Vote Yes for East Pierce Fire & Rescue- maintain current level services and improve Firefighter staffing.

The Fire District needs our support to provide high quality services

East Pierce Fire and Rescue needs our support. Vote Yes to renew the levy, maintain the high quality of services and hire needed firefighters and paramedics, improving efficiency and services. Call volume has never been higher, hiring 12 firefighters/paramedics will provide better response times and get staffing levels closer to national standards.

Three firefighters on engines improves firefighter capabilities and reduces fire loss

East Pierce Fire has lost over $2.5 Million annually due to economic downturn and is asking to renew the M&O Levy for a 4 year term, replacing lost revenue and filling vacant positions. EPFR currently operates primarily with 2 person Engine Companies, by hiring the needed firefighters/paramedics EPFR can improve staffing with 3 person engine companies which can perform rescue’s 25% faster than 2 firefighters can.

Fire District has reduced costs over the years to react to recessionary loss of revenue

EPFR has reduced capital expenditures, the operations budget and overtime costs. Employees have taken wage cuts/concessions without any significant service level cuts.

Please ‘Vote Yes, Renew the Levy’.

It never ends!  The District, never satisfied with the money it gets, always wants more.  When you add up all the different property taxes that the Fire District plans to collect, this Maintenance and Operations levy means that a home assessed at $250,000 will be paying an approximate average of $620 per year.  This levy has no targeted purpose.  They can spend it on almost anything they want.  Once dependent upon this extra levy, they will not give it up willingly.

Our Fire District Chiefs and Firefighters are among the highest paid in the USA.  Our District is not the wealthiest, nor the busiest.  Starting salary and benefits: $124,000 per year.  Why pay platinum level wages?

They want more Firefighters???  They must further strengthen their Volunteer Firefighter Program!!!  Volunteers’ having substantial meaningful work is not a threat to career firefighters; it is an assurance of increased staffing and reduced cost to the taxpayer.

Defeat this levy.  There’s nothing to feel guilty about.  Be Brave – Vote No!  We must demand that our elected Fire Commissioners advocate for us, the taxpayers, and not the management and the union.  Unless we break this repetitive cycle, the extra levies and bonds will never end.

The levy is needed to help replace lost revenues due to the continuing effects of the recession and to increase minimum staffing to improve protection. Additional firefighters provide faster rescue, reduce fire loss and injuries. Even with the levy, your fire taxes will be less than 2008 and less than comparable Pierce County fire districts. Starting salary is significantly less than stated. Our firefighters are paid a comparable wage for this area.

Please vote yes.

Statements submitted by: William Sandlian, Margaret Drotz, and Raymond Bunk

The only thing that the District is proposing to do is to collect 19.2 million extra dollars, and spend it on anything that qualifies as Maintenance and Operations. Hiring more personnel only worsens the District’s long-term financial problems. The average cost burden for Labor and Command Staff ranges from $124,000 to $300,000 per person. 

The District’s lack of cost control does not warrant an additional tax burden on the public.

Be Brave – Vote No!

Statements submitted by: Rose Hill, Jacquelyn Whalen, and Richard Willner 253-848-5836

60% yes vote with a minimum number of 5,032 yes votes (Wash. Const. Art. VII, sec. 2(a))

1261 en-US Production

TTY: Relay 711

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