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South King Fire & Rescue

Proposition No. 1

Levy of General Tax $3,750,000 for Maintenance and Operations


The Board of Commissioners of South King Fire & Rescue adopted Resolution No. 573 concerning a proposition to finance maintenance and operation expenses. This proposition, if approved, will authorize the District to levy, without regard to the limitations of chapter 84.52 RCW, a property tax upon all taxable property within the district of:


Approximate Levy
Assessed Value













to be used for maintenance and operations and increase the current level of fire services and emergency medical services. 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 4th, 2020 ballot. This proposition will authorize the fire district to collect $3.75 million annually, at an approximate rate of $0.19 per $1,000 of assessed valuation for the first year, for a four-year period covering 2021 through 2024. The proposition is a replacement to the expiring levy, and is presented to allow voters the opportunity to maintain current fire department services and personnel. This is known as a Maintenance & Operations Levy (M&O levy).

Voters approved in 2012, and again in 2016, an M&O levy. The fire district depends on the M&O levy to augment regular property tax revenues. Restoring the 2017 levy rate of .19 per $1,000 of assessed valuation will allow the fire district to collect an additional $1 million per year for 4 years. These funds will be used to reinstate the fire district's capital improvement plan for the timely replacement of aging equipment.

The District's Board of Commissioners has determined that this proposition is necessary to maintain an effective level of service and to reinstate the capital improvement plan which has been frozen since the last recession. Rejection of this proposition would lead to reductions in service levels, the layoff of fire department personnel including firefighters, potential elimination of special services to the community, delays in the replacement of emergency equipment, and similar cutbacks.

South King Fire & Rescue (SKFR) needs your support to replace the expiring Maintenance and Operations (M&O) Levy. The M&O Levy is a funding measure previously supported by voters in 2012 and 2016 to maintain essential fire district services. During this time, SKFR has maintained helpful, professional service with rapid growth in population, development, and call volumes that now exceed 20,000 emergency responses each year.

Replacement of Expiring Levy. Using the 2017 M&O levy rate of .19 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation provides the personnel and equipment needed for this M&O levy period.  The homeowner of a $400,000 home will pay just over $6 dollars a month ($1.60 more than currently paying). 

Support Fire. This levy funds a variety of necessary expenditures that maintain staffing and replace outdated equipment, ensuring quality fire, life safety, and emergency responses. Without this critical funding SKFR would be forced to reduce resources that support the community and postpone equipment replacements.

Vote Yes! The essential nature of SKFR’s work is more visible in this infectious disease environment, where firefighter/EMTs perform skillfully on the front lines.  They serve us well.  We must continue to support SKFR to maintain a strong and healthy community.

Ed Plumlee, Shelley Pauls, Matt Mahoney,

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.

60% approval and at least 8,107 Yes votes (Wash. Const. art. VII, sec. 2(a))

For questions about this measure, contact: Joe F. Ganem IV, Executive Director - Business Operations, 253-946-7334,

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