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Shoreline Fire Department

Proposition No. 1


Shall Shoreline Fire Department be re-authorized to continue voter approved benefit charges each year for ten 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?



Shoreline Fire Department provides emergency medical, and fire protection service to approximately 13.5 square miles of service area in King County. The benefit charge was initially approved by voters in 2015 and has been part of the funding model since 2016.  The current ballot measure is to determine if the District will continue to impose the benefit charge in 2022. 


A benefit charge is not a property tax.  The benefit charge is a user fee designed to allocate the cost of the services provided by the District in reasonable proportion to the measurable benefit a property receives. The benefit charge will be based on a formula that takes into consideration levels of service, fire flows, the square footage of structures and the type of structures.


The District Board of Commissioners has determined that a benefit charge, provides the fairest, most stable, reliable and cost effective method for financing the operations of the District and maintaining a satisfactory level of services.


The proposition requests voters to re-authorize and continue the benefit charge to be collected for ten years from 2022 through 2031. If approved by the voters, the benefit charge will be established by November 30th of each year for collection the following year.  Prior to establishing the benefit charge each year, the District Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing and each year property owners will have the right to appeal the amount of the benefit charge.

The Shoreline Fire Department is arguably one of the best in the Country.  It provides excellent fire prevention and response services operating one of King County’s five Medic One response groups. Statistically the odds of surviving a sudden cardiac arrest in a Medic One jurisdiction is 54%! This is literally the best survival rate in the Country. Across the nation, survival rates hover at around 10%.

In 2015 voters overwhelming approved the ballot initiative that authorized the fire benefit charge (FBC) as a primary source of revenue to fund our fire department. The FBC has provided a more equitable and dependable method of funding. It is based on the inherent risk of a building, its size and use. The system is flexible, and it allows homeowners an opportunity to provide input to our elected Fire Commissioners. More detailed information can be found on the SFD website.

Over the last 5-yrs, operating under the FBC, the equivalent tax rate for fire and emergency medical services for nearly all homeowners has gone down. This ballot measure re-authorizes the continuation of the FBC. As a citizen of Shoreline, we urge you to continue your support of our SFD by voting yes.  

Allen Alston and Brett Defenbaugh,

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)

For questions about this measure, contact: Matt Cowan, Fire Chief, 206-533-6510,

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