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King County Fire Protection District No. 10

Proposition No. 1

Continued Imposition of Benefit Charge


Shall King County Fire Protection District No. 10 be authorized to continue to impose benefit charges each year for six years, not to exceed an amount equal to sixty percent of its operating budget, and be prohibited from imposing an additional property tax under RCW 52.16.160?



Fire District 10 is placing Proposition 1 on this November’s Ballot to reauthorize the Benefit Charge for funding fire protection and emergency medical services. The Benefit Charge lowers the District property tax rate from $1.50 to a maximum of $1.00 per thousand of assessed value. In your Fire Commissioners’ opinion, a lower property tax rate in conjunction with the Benefit Charge, based upon building size and use, is a more equitable and stable method of funding emergency services.

The District’s first use of the Benefit Charge was in 2004, when District voters approved its implementation by more than 60%. The Benefit Charge must be reauthorized every six years.

The Benefit Charge amount is established by November 30th of the year prior to collection. Prior to establishing the Benefit Charge, the Board of Commissioners holds a public hearing. The total amount of Benefit Charges would not exceed 60% of the District’s operating budget for the year.

After establishing the Benefit Charge, the District will notify each property owner of the amount to be charged. The property owners would then have an opportunity to appeal the Benefit Charge to the Board to reduce the amount of the charge, and the Board would have the authority to impose a Benefit Charge that, in their opinion, is true, fair and just. The law allows for partial exemptions for senior citizens and buildings with fire sprinkler systems.

For questions about this measure, contact: Lee Soptich, Fire Chief, 425-313-3201,

The Commissioners of District 10 ask we continue to support the Fire Benefit Charge (FBC). Their careful oversight, conservative approach, and strong fiscal management rely on the FBC as a stable and sustainable funding method (providing on average, 37% of the total annual District revenue over the last five years). Originally approved in 2003, and re-authorized in 2009, the FBC has proven to be more fair and equitable to the average home owner. This charge is applied only on structures and not on land. Those with larger structures and/or use, which create greater risk, pay more than regular home owners in Districts with a FBC. In addition, the average home owner in 2015 would have paid more under the outdated (pre-2003) assessed value method than the current FBC system. We get to reconsider the FBC every six years. It is the perfect check and balance approach to ensure responsible government spending. Our firefighters/EMTs are highly skilled, motivated, and engaged in the community. The FBC plays a big part of keeping this force of professional and volunteer responders at the ready. Voting yes continues to provide for critical services we rely on in normal times and during extraordinary events.

Statement submitted by: Pat Grady,
Wesley Moorehead, and Kevin Bryson

No statement submitted.

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 52.18.050)

1266 en-US Production

TTY: Relay 711

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