Letters to the Editor

Fire Department has a proposition

The Federal Way Fire Department will be placing a proposition on the ballot in the Sept. 14 primary election to allow the fire district to continue to levy a regular property tax rate of $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.

This proposition is specifically placed to meet the requirements of Initiative 747, which the voters of our state have approved into law. I-747 requires the fire district to levy no more than 1 percent above tax revenues collected in the previous year.

The Fire Commissioners have determined that a 1 percent limitation would restrict the district from maintaining its current levy rate, necessitating a cutback in the present level of services provided by the Fire Department. The purpose of this proposition is to meet the stated intent of I-747 by allowing the voters to approve the continuation of the present level of department services for the citizens and residents of the district by maintaining the current levy statutory amount of $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed valuation for one year.

In addition, the ballot measure, if supported by the voters, will provide protection from the potential cutbacks that Initiative 864 would impose on the Fire Department (if it makes it to the ballot and passes in November). I- 864 would reduce property taxes by 25 percent, thus reducing the department’s budget by nearly 25 percent on an annual basis. This would result in major cutbacks in levels of service and firefighting personnel.

If you would like to be named to a committee for or against the Fire Department proposition, please contact me by July 15. If you would like more information on the proposition, I can be reached at 946-7258.

Allen D. Church

Fire chief/administrator

Federal Way Fire Department

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