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King County Fire Protection District No. 43

Proposition No. 1

Shall Maple Valley Fire & Life Safety (King County Fire Protection District No. 43) be authorized 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?



Maple Valley Fire & Life Safety is placing a “benefit charge” proposition on the August 1, 2017 ballot, pursuant to RCW 52.18, which allows the benefit charges to fund and maintain fire district operations. A benefit charge is not a tax and is not based on property valuation, but on the cost of providing service. If approved, the benefit charge in effect for six years commencing in 2018, will be based on square footage and fire flows for all types of property, utilizing a consistent, industry-accepted formula.

Historically, the District has used regular tax levies and excess levies to provide sufficient revenue to maintain services. During that time the average tax rates have been approximately $1.69 per thousand of assessed valuation. If the benefit charge is approved, the property tax rate will be capped at $1.00 per thousand. The benefit charge will provide the necessary revenue to maintain services, but on a more fair and logical basis than a property tax. Benefit charges cannot exceed 60% of the operating budget.

Approval of this proposition would allow the District to enhance the current level of services, while distributing the charges equitably.

Maple Valley Fire Department has proposed a long-term solution to funding emergency services based on a recommendation from the Citizens Steering Committee and supported by the Board of Fire Commissioners.

With a Fire Benefit Charge (FBC), the property tax levy is reduced from $1.50 to $1.00 per $1,000 assessed value.  The FBC replaces the $0.50 of the property tax with a fee based on the fire risk.  This is a more equitable manner than a system purely based on property value which fluctuates up and down and adds risk to your fire department’s ability to plan for the future services needed for the community.  The FBC is only billed to those properties having improvements or structures over 400 square feet based on the King County Assessors.  Maple Valley Fire & Life Safety will Not do its own property assessments.  The charge is based on fire risk.  Undeveloped land that does not have any structure would realize a reduction in property tax from $1.50 to $1.00 and not pay any FBC.

Structures that utilize fire sprinklers and detection systems will receive a 10% discount on the FBC.  Senior citizens, disabled persons and low income households will maintain any exemptions currently provided.

Fact: Shameful conflict of interest. Example: MVF fire commissioners are compensated by the district they work for – they decide how much FBC you’ll pay each year. FBC bypasses I-747!

Fact: FBC is an unfair square foot tax on your home, shop, garage, barn, chickencoop – no matter the value or use. Example: Outbuildings don’t contribute to medical aid calls, shouldn’t be charged FBC.

Fact: You’re not simply swapping a little bit of tax for FBC. Example: Maple Valley FD 43 will double tax you over $3.5 mil thru banked capacity – it’s legal.

Fact: Your home and outbuildings are combined into a giant mansion-sized yearly FBC bill.

Fact: FBC on your personal property. Example: Kent’s RFA charges FBC on mobile home pads and camping spaces.

Fact: No per building FBC limit. Example: A shop or barn today costs $15 a year, but FBC its $600. You won’t receive 40 times better service.

Fact: Anyone pro FBC scheme is either hoping to enjoy personal monetary gain or are simply ignorant of the truth.

Fact: FBC taxes seniors out of their homes.

Fact: Hobart – Ravensdale – Maple Valley – you folks defeated this scheme last year.

Vote No Proposition 1!

Fire Commissioners are compensated by the district in accordance with RCW 52.14.010. The rate is set by the Office of Financial Management and the elected Commissioners represent the citizens.

FBC Will Only calculate on the square footage of a home and attached garage.

FBC Excludes outbuildings, mobile home pads, camping spaces, barns and shops.

Maple Valley Fire will Not double tax you nor collect “banked capacity”.

Senior Citizen and Sprinkler discounts will be honored.

Submitted by: Sean P. Kelly, Chris Bodlovic

FBC scheme allows for yearly budget increases with Zero voter approval!

FBC is based on KC Assessor records - a poor source to bill from as many properties have incomplete information!

Charging the same FBC rate for an old garage/barn/chickencoop as for a home is absolutely Not fair!

FBC does not pay for stations or firetrucks!

Only Seniors at poverty level qualify for FBC discount!

FBC scheme will put MV family farms out of business!

Submitted by: Eric Bernard, Karen Bernard,

60% yes vote (RCW 52.18.050)

For questions about this measure, contact: Aaron Tyerman, Fire Chief, 425-433-2127,

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TTY: Relay 711

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