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King County Fire Protection District No. 16

Proposition No. 1

Benefit Charge Continuation

 

 

Shall King County Fire Protection District No. 16 be authorized to continue voter-authorized benefit charges each year for six consecutive 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?

Yes

No


The Northshore Fire Department (King County Fire Protection District 16) is responsible for providing fire protection and emergency medical services in your community. For the last thirty years the Fire Department has funded these services primarily through a combination of property taxes and voter approved benefit charges. Benefit charges are based on risk factors and the cost of providing fire protection services, unlike property taxes that relate to the value of property.

Under state law, voters must approve the use of benefit charges every 6 years and the Elected Board of Commissioners is required to hold a public hearing each year to review and establish the amount of the benefit charge. Once established the aggregate amount of the charge is pro-rated to individual properties based on risk factors and collected by the county assessor, together with real estate taxes. The amount of any benefit charge imposed on any given property cannot exceed the measureable benefits of the services afforded to the property by the Fire Department and are subject to appeal.

Under state law, fire districts which collect benefit charges authorized under Chapter 52.18 RCW have reduced taxing authority. Benefit charges can constitute no more than 60 percent of a district’s annual operating budget and the maximum property tax rate is reduced from $1.50 to $1.00 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.

If approved, Proposition 1 would continue the current funding method of providing emergency medical and fire protection services for 6 more years.

Citizens of the Northshore Fire District have wholeheartedly supported the work of our fire department, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians. We have one of the finest departments in the Northwest. Its professional team of well-trained staff has proven itself repeatedly in the performance of its duties. For over three decades our citizens have voted to authorize this benefit charge to support the department’s operating budget.

This is not a new tax, but must be approved by voters every six years. It is time to renew that commitment once again. In 2013, voters approved this measure by 88%. Voters have approved each renewal since 1989. By supporting this renewal, the revenue for the fire district remains stable. The benefit charge provides a vital and reliable source of revenue for planning, equipment maintenance and replacement, and property protection.

This is a crucial investment in our community, one which we will be glad we made in case our own family needs emergency assistance, or we face a natural disaster or public safety crisis. Join us in continuing the commitment to maintaining our excellent fire department. Please vote to approve this measure.

Eric Adman, Jo Ann Evans

Simple Majority (RCW 52.18.050)

Jim Torpin, Fire Chief, 425-354-1776, jtorpin@northshorefire.com

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