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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. 755 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. 755. 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 November 2014 ballot. This proposition authorizes the fire district to collect approximately $3.2 million to $3.5 million annually, at an approximate rate of $0.35 to $0.37 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.

The fire district experienced a shortfall of $10 million or about $2.5 million each year from 2010 through 2013 due to 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,

Please Vote Yes for East Pierce Fire Rescue to maintain current level of service.
The renewal of this expiring levy is crucial to maintaining current levels of emergency services. We understand that many citizens were unable to support the August levy request to increase funding to improve services and firefighter safety.

This is a renewal, not a new tax.
Your rates stay the same—about $0.37 per 1,000 of assessed value. As new construction occurs within the district, the rate is projected to drop after 2015.

Steps the fire district has taken to cut costs.
The district has already reduced costs through wage concessions, training cuts and deferred purchases of fire engines, medic units and other necessary equipment.

The current levy provides 14% of our annual operating budget.
Failure of the levy would force further cutbacks that will result in a reduction of services that include closure of stations or a decrease in emergency responders—all of which will increase response times.
Emergency calls and costs have steadily increased. Levy funds will go directly to maintain emergency operations. The district needs your support to maintain this important current funding source.

We don't think any residents are unhappy with service from East Pierce Fire District. The problem for voters is the District’s mindset of unending growth and expansion.

We think it is time to rein in our Fire Department. They want to add more Firefighters, build more buildings, buy more equipment, increase their territory, and be one of the highest paid Fire Departments in the country.

Let's use the "Department of Common Sense" when we consider our vote. Do we really need a new district headquarters? What’s wrong with leasing for now? Wilkeson pulled out of EPFD. Maybe others will pull out in the future. Remodeling our stations will do. They do not have to be the biggest and best. Why do we need three Firefighters per fire truck? What's wrong with bringing back the Volunteers for that purpose? EPFD uses “National Standards” as the reason they need more firefighters. That sounds like a way to grow without a real need.

We like our Firefighters, but that shouldn’t mean an automatic rubber stamp every election. Let’s do what our elected Commissioners seem unwilling to do.

Be Brave! Vote No on the East Pierce Fire District Maintenance and Operations Levy.

This measure isn’t about expanding/growing. The district heard the voters in the August election and dropped the request for funding additional firefighters. It’s about maintaining current levels of service, period. Failure to renew the existing levy will reduce firefighters and paramedics on duty, fire engines and medic units responding to your emergency and will increase fire damages with reduced survival rates for those sick or injured. Please check the facts at

Submitted by: William Sandlian, Margaret Drotz, and Raymond Bunk

Before you vote, consider this: The average 10% increase in property values for 2015 added to new construction values makes the $0.37 levy moot. EPFD gets $2.00 per $1000 already! Whoa!! That is enough!!!

Whining about layoffs and shortfalls? Closing fire stations? Ridiculous!! Cutback those high salaries and benefits you’ve given yourselves during this recession. Time to get to work. Pierce Transit did. The folks are waiting.

Be Brave! Vote No!

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))

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TTY: Relay 711

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