Early primary election results show voters in the Federal Way and Des Moines area approving South King Fire and Rescue’s $3.75 million maintenance and operations levy.
The levy, Proposition 1 on the ballots, is passing with more than 65 percent of the vote so far, according to King County Elections Tuesday night.
The M&O levy is a general tax on the taxable property within the district of $3,750,000 — which is approximately $0.19 per $1,000 of assessed property valuation to be collected first in 2021 and for three consecutive years after.
Replacing the expiring levy of $0.14 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, the new levy raises the total levy rate by five cents.
The fire district now has the authorization to tax residents 19 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value in 2021, 18 cents per $1,000 of assessed value in 2022, 17 cents in 2023 and 16 cents in 2024.
Approved for four-year periods, the levy will help fund $5 million in capital equipment and facility replacements needed over the next several years, including four fire engines nearing the end of their 20-year reliable service term, according to SKFR Commissioner Dave Berger.
The M&O levy funds 10% of South King Fire’s total budget.
The funds may also used for other capital replacement needs such as personal protective equipment (PPE), rescue tools, and radios and other technology devices.
Approval of the levy also helps prevent reduction in both staffing and services to the areas of Federal Way, Des Moines and unincorporated King County, department officials said.