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King County Fire Protection District No. 10

Proposition No. 1
Continuation of Benefit Charge

Shall King County Fire Protection District No. 10 be authorized to continue a voter-authorized benefit charge each year for up to a ten-year period, 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?



King County Fire Protection District No. 10 as a member of Eastside Fire & Rescue provides emergency medical, and fire protection service to property owners within the District. The Board of Commissioners is requesting that voters approve the continuation of the existing benefit charge initially approved by the voters in 2003 and renewed by the voters in 2009 and 2015.

A benefit charge is not a property tax but 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 is based on a standard industry accepted formula that takes into consideration fire flows, structure square footage and the type of structure. If the benefit charge is approved the District’s statutory tax authority is reduced by $.50 per thousand of assessed valuation.

The Board of Commissioners has determined that a benefit charge, established in conjunction with a lower level of property taxes, provides the fairest, most stable, reliable, and cost-effective method for financing emergency operations of the District and maintaining satisfactory levels of service.

The proposition requests voters to authorize the continuation of the benefit charge to be collected for an additional ten years from 2022 through 2031. Prior to establishing the benefit charge each year, the Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing and each year property owners will have the right to petition for adjustments in the amount of the benefit charge.

Eastside Fire & Rescue was formed on January 1, 1999 by King County Fire District 10 and the City of Issaquah. In 2000, the cities of North Bend, Sammamish and King County Fire District 38 joined the partnership. Each city and fire district fund emergency services separately and contribute revenue to the partnership. Fire Protection District 10 funds operations through a fire levy that is based on the assessed value of a property and is capped at $1 per $1,000 of assessed property value and a ‘Fire Benefit Charge (FBC).’ The FBC has been approved by voters twice before with the initial approval in 2003.


A fire benefit charge is based on a structure’s size and use. The fire benefit charge takes into consideration that those who benefit more from fire protection services (such as large, high fire-risk structures) should pay more than smaller ones (such as single-family homes). Over the last five years, operating efficiencies and cost savings from the Eastside Fire & Rescue partnership have allowed the rate to be lowered from an average of $0.68 in 2017 to $0.29 per $1,000 of assessed property value in 2021.


The fire benefit charge accounts for 23 percent of emergency services funding and is up for renewal on the August 3, 2021 Primary Election ballot. Fire Protection District 10 continues to work to increase the service level of our agency through the Eastside Fire and Rescue partnership and to return value to the community through that service. We appreciate our communities’ continued support of Fire District 10 and ask for your vote in favor of this measure on the ballot.


Greg Evans, Jake Koehnen, Gloria Hatcher-Mays,

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: Scott Faires, Budget Finance Analyst, 425-313-3211,

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