Fire Levy Lid Lift
East County Fire and Rescue analyzed its emergency call volumes and the numbers are climbing. Since 2007, emergency call volumes have increased almost 52 percent in 10 years. That’s alarming for a fire district that relies on a combination of paid and volunteer firefighters to respond.
Emergency services are funded through two levies (one for fire and another for EMS) paid through property taxes. Over time, these levy rates fall as property values rise to limit the fire district to roughly the same amount of revenue per year (plus a one percent increase as allowed by law). For example, voters in East County Fire and Rescue approved a fire levy of $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value in 2008. That levy rate has fallen to $1.29/$1,000 in 2018.
More calls mean added costs for personnel, apparatus, equipment and supplies. In addition, the one percent increase is not keeping up with the cost of inflation, which is currently 3-4 percent per year. That’s why the fire district is proposing a lid lift to restore funding and maintain emergency service levels for our community.
East County Fire and Rescue is asking voters to return the fire levy to $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value. The proposal will be on the November 6 General Election ballot and cost 21 cents per $1,000 (or $7.87 per month for the owner of a $450,000 home).
Funding from the lid lift would be used to maintain daily operations and emergency service levels, improve firefighter training, and repair equipment and apparatus. These items are also necessary to maintain our community’s insurance rating, which affects the insurance premiums that home and business owners pay.
IN THE NEWS
Camas-Washougal Post-Record – November 8, 2018 – Rejection of humble fire district ask is depressing, scary
Camas-Washougal Post-Record – October 18, 2018 – ECFR: Small, but Mighty
The Columbian – October 15, 2018 – East County Fire & Rescue to hold Q&A on levy lid lift
Camas-Washougal Post-Record – August 30, 2018 – Deputy Fire Chief: ‘We’ve squeezed until we can’t squeeze anymore’
The Columbian – August 23, 2018 – East County Fire & Rescue asking voters to support tax hike
Clark County Today – August 1, 2018 – East County Fire & Rescue Commissioner Mike Taggart thanks community members who attended open house
Clark County Today – June 12, 2018 – East County Fire & Rescue call volumes have increased by 52 percent since 2007 according to Captain Danny Burch
The Columbian – May 23, 2018 – East County Fire and Rescue might ask residents for levy lid lift
Camas-Washougal Post-Record – May 17, 2018 – Call volumes up for East County Fire & Rescue
Questions about the fire levy lid lift? Come talk to us!- October 11, 2018
East County Fire and Rescue Improves Insurance Rating – September 12, 2018
East County Fire and Rescue Talks Finances – August 22, 2018
New Fire Commissioner for East County Fire and Rescue – August 8, 2018
East County Fire and Rescue Passes Fire Levy Lid Lift Resolution – July 18, 2018
Board of Fire Commissioners to Consider Fire Levy Lid Lift – June 21, 2018
Call volumes increasing for East County Fire and Rescue – May 15, 2018
Thank you for supporting East County Fire and Rescue.
East County Fire and Rescue serves 10,000 people over 60 square miles in the unincorporated areas of Vancouver, Camas and Washougal. Nine full-time, six part-time and 18 volunteer emergency personnel provide fire suppression, emergency medical care and other rescue services. We are able to provide better service than most agencies our size because of your community support. Whether its terrain challenges, wildland fires or hazardous material spills – we have the skills or connections that save lives and property.