EPFR To Place Two Levy Measures on August 3rd Ballot

EAST PIERCE FIRE & RESCUE TO PLACE TWO LEVY MEASURES ON AUGUST 3rd BALLOT

At the April 20th regular meeting of the Board of Fire Commissioners, two ballot measures were approved to place on the August 3, 2021 primary election.

Proposition 1 will ask voters to renew the EMS Levy, at the statutory limit of 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. The District is in the final year of a ten-year EMS Levy and is seeking to renew the levy for another ten years. This levy must be renewed by the voters for the District to continue collecting this revenue, which accounts for 25% of the District’s tax revenue.

The EMS Levy provides for the paramedic level or advanced life support (ALS) service which is provided by the District. The EMS Levy also provides for emergency transport of our citizens to local hospitals at no out of pocket expense. The District does bill the insurance company, but then writes off any co-pay that would be the patient’s responsibility. These vital services cannot be provided without the approval of the EMS Levy this fall.

Proposition 2 will ask voters to reauthorize the collection of the Regular (Fire) Levy to the statutory rate of $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed value, which is often referred to as a lid lift. Currently, the 2021 levy rate is $1.36 per $1,000 of assessed value.

Collection rates erode due to an automatic limit on the growth of property taxes. That normal limit is one percent (1%) per year, but Proposition 2 will ask for the ability to collect up to six percent (6%) for the three subsequent years following the first year at the $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed value. The tax rate can never exceed the collection rate of $1.50.

The additional growth in revenue provided by the lid lift will provide funding for additional response crews to staff a new station in Tehaleh and provide staffing at the Milton fire station. Neither proposition is a new tax. Both are current taxes that have been used to fund daily operations for decades.

East Pierce Fire & Rescue remains the most cost-effective career department in Pierce County when compared to the collection rates of other fire districts. We continue to operate and make system improvements by just collecting the Regular and EMS levies. Most other career fire districts have additional revenues provided by benefit charges or maintenance & operations levies.

If you have any questions, or would like to schedule a presentation for your HOA or other group, please email Chief@eastpiercefire.org

2021 Lid Lifts Press Release (PDF)

Proposition 1 - EMS Levy

Proposition 1 – Renew EMS Levy
August 3, 2021 Primary Election

  • Not a new tax
  • Renews existing EMS tax
  • Renew it – or lose it
  • Provides 25% of our tax revenues
  • Necessary to maintain Paramedic Level Service
  • EPFR remains one of the fire districts in the county to not have additional taxes for daily operations.

This is not a new tax, but a renewal of an existing levy. We are currently in the last year of a 10-year EMS levy. If it is not renewed, the fire district will lose 25% of its tax revenue. The EMS levy has been used for decades to fund emergency medical response and provide transport, with not out of pocket expenses to our citizens.

The EMS levy would be renewed for another 10-years if approved by the voters.

EMS Levy collection rate history of cents per $1,000 of assessed value:

 YEAR  2016  2017  2018  2019  2020  2021
 Rate  $0.44  $0.50  $0.50  $0.48  $0.47  $0.46


How does the current rate compare to the 50-cent collection rate in Prop 1?

 Assessed Value of Property $450,000
(median home value Pierce County)
 $0.46 per
$1,000 of AV
 $0.50 per
$1,000 of AV
 Increase
 Annual Payment  $207.00  $225.00  $18.00 per year
 Monthly Payment  $17.25  $18.75  $1.50 per month

Note: This is comparing the rate impact on your 2021 property value.

Proposition 1 - EMS Levy (PDF)

Proposition 2 - Reset Regular Levy

Proposition 2 – Reset Regular Levy
August 3, 2021 Primary Election

  • Not a new tax
  • Commonly referred to as a Lid Lift
  • Resets collection Rate to previously approved $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed value with the ability to collect over the 1% limit.
  • Necessary to maintain service and add staffing in preparation of new staffed fire stations
  • EPFR remains one of the fire districts in the county to not have additional taxes for daily operations.

This is not a new tax, it asks to reset the collection rate to the previously approved $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed value.

Property tax increases are limited by state law to 1% growth from year to year. This levy asks voters to authorize the ability to take up to a 6% for the three years following the first year at the limit. The statutory 1% limit does not keep up with cost increases in operational supplies, fuel, utilities, and other items and certainly does not provide for adding resources or programs. The ability to use the additional growth rate of up to 6% allows for adding more firefighters to serve the rapidly growing needs of the area.

The addition of these crews not only serves those areas but reduces the number of times our other units are dispatched into those areas, leaving them available more often for incidents near their stations.

Resetting the Regular levy to the statutory limit will provide funds for adding firefighters that will staff stations in Tehaleh and Milton.

Regular Levy collection rate history per $1,000 of assessed value:

 YEAR  2016  2017  2018  2019  2020  2021
 Rate  $1.50  $1.39  $1.50  $1.45  $1.42  1.36

How does the current rate compare to the $1.50 collection rate in Prop 2?

 Assessed Value of Property $450,000
(median home value in Pierce County)
 $0.46 per
$1,000 of AV
 $0.50 per
$1,000 of AV
 Increase
 Annual Payment  $639.00  $675.00  $36.00 per year
 Monthly Payment  #53.25  $56.25  $3.00 per month


Note: This is comparing the rate impact on your 2021 property value.

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