Letters to the Editor

Fire department seeks your vote | Federal Way letters

South King Fire and Rescue (King County Fire Protection District 39) is seeking persons interested in being named to a committee “for” or “against” Proposition 1, a fire district funding measure to be placed on the August 17 primary election ballot. Interested persons should contact Lauri Perry by May 21 at (253) 946-7253.

The Board of Fire Commissioners passed a resolution to place Proposition 1 (also known as a benefit charge) on the ballot as a way to stabilize funding for emergency service levels. Revenues have shrunk $3.6 million for South King Fire and Rescue in 2010 because of a decline in home values due to a poor economy. Your fire department has managed the revenue loss by eliminating staff positions, delaying equipment replacement and using limited reserve funds. This strategy cannot continue for 2011, and a stable funding source is being sought to maintain emergency service levels for our community.

Proposition 1 would reduce property taxes collected by the fire district from the current $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed valuation to $1. The reduction in property tax revenue is then collected through a different funding method and redistributed to the fire department. It is not tied to home values and is protected from pro-rationing, which means revenue for your fire department cannot be taken by other taxing districts.

We appreciate the support of our community, and thank you for considering this important request.

Allen D. Church, Fire Chief/Administrator, South King Fire and Rescue

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