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King County Fire Protection District No. 40

Proposition No. 1
Continuation of Benefit Charge

Shall King County Fire Protection District No. 40 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


King County Fire Protection District 40 is responsible for providing fire protection and emergency medical services in your community. For over the last twenty years, the Fire District 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 renew the use of benefit charges every six years and the Fire District’s 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 property taxes. The amount of any benefit charge imposed on any given property cannot exceed the measurable benefits of the services afforded to the property by the Fire District 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 fire district’s 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 methods utilized by Fire District 40 to provide emergency medical and fire protection services for the next six years.

Voters of King County Fire District #40 first approved the Fire Benefit Charge (FBC) in 1990, reauthorizing it in 1995, 2001, 2007 and yet again in 2013. We are asking for your support to ensure fire and life safety protection for the citizens and businesses of Fairwood.

What is the advantage of the FBC? The FBC provides funding for appropriate staffing to operate a 24-hour aid car, a fire engine and modern apparatus to respond to emergencies. The fire district can keep its facilities safe, updated and maintained to provide essential services. The FBC allows the fire district to be less dependent on fluctuating property taxes while maintaining a stable service level for its citizens.

State law allows the FBC to be up to 60% of the fire district's operational budget. The district's Board of Fire Commissioners has stayed well below that amount, with an average since 2003 of around 42 percent.
We ask for your support in keeping our community safe. 

Doug Gibbs, Eylene Gardner, Mike Warfel

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)

Cindy Buchan, District Secretary, 425-255-0931, FireDistrict40@gmail.com

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