Northshore Fire on the February 12 ballot

Friday, January 11, 2019

February 12 2019 Special Election will have a Ballot measure for King County Fire Protection District No. 16 aka Northshore Fire Department.

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?


Explanatory statement - this link has pro and con statements

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.


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